On pages 16 & 17 of the book: Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria, written by President Muhammadu Buhari’s authorized biographer, some revealing details have come to light.
John Paden wrote: “Buhari was among the first of the junior officers to be sent into battle. He served until the end of the war. Buhari fought at Awka, and later commanded a brigade at Makurdi.
“He also had to defend areas between Enugu and Abakaliki. He learned to distinguish the types of weapons being fired at his men by the sounds of the gunfire.
“On one occasion, while marching with his men toward Ogoja, Buhari ran into a group of rebels, and the federal soldiers suffered serious casualties. On another occasion, a rebel sniper killed someone standing next to Buhari.
“Many in Buhari’s battalion died from typhoid as a result of lack of clean drinking water, describing in detail the difficult terrain the troops had to overcome during the war.
“The rainforest of the southeast was very different from the dry savannah of the north, and often Buhari would lead his men with machetes as they cut their way through thick vegetation.
“Buhari emphasized the importance of seemingly unimportant matters, such as the need for his men to keep their socks dry lest they be crippled by fungus. The health of his men was of critical importance, as was his own.”
On page 17, Paden wrote that when Buhari was commenting on the war, he said that he was lucky to have escaped with his life, that it could have gone either way.
The biography has been quite revealing as many details abouty Buhari’s life that was not known before have been revealed.
There is an interesting excerpt on how, Buhari helped to save the life of ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo during the Sani Abacha regime in 1995.