“How I Spent 40 Months In Detention After 1985 Coup In Benin City” – Buhari Reveals

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at a joint news conference with his French counterpart Francois Hollande at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, May 14, 2016 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde - RTSEA1D

President Muhammadu Buhari during his two-day working visit to Edo state on November 7 reminded Nigerians and Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki that he spent 40 months in detention in the state during the 1985 military coup.

Buhari used the opportunity to commission projects completed by the Oshiomhole-led government.

“I’m glad to be visiting Edo state, to commission Infrastructure projects completed by the administration of Gov Adams Oshiomhole,” President Buhari stated.

“Not many people may remember: I spent most of the 40 months of my detention, following the 1985 coup, in a small bungalow here in Benin City.”

Professor John Paden on the page 33 of his book entitled: ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of leadership in Nigeria’ described the life of the now incumbent president in detention after the coup in 1985.

Read the excerpts below:

“Buhari was housed in a well-guarded small bungallow in Benin City. He was not harassed by soldiers or cut off from all communication. He was given a small television set that could pick up one or two channels, plus daily newspapers, and he was provided three meals a day. He was allowed visitors, but only on the specific authorization of Babangida. In most cases, his visitors were members of his family, although because they lived in the north of the country, and Benin was in Edo state in the south, travel was a problem.

“Buhari’s daily routine was much the same every day. He would get up around 5 a.m. for Muslim prayers, and then go back to bed; get up again around 8 or 9 a.m. and have breakfast;read; have lunch; rest; exercise; pray; eat dinner; read and sleep. The only exercise he could get was to jog around outside the house.

“He read not only newspapers, but also novels, history books and Qur’an.”

President Buhari arrived Benin airport to begin a two-day working visit to Edo on Nvember 7, Monday. He was received by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The president inspected a guard of honour mounted by military personnel before he proceeded to the palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare N’gidigan II, on a courtesy visit.

Oshiomhole, who was first inaugurated on Nov. 12, 2008 and won his second term in 2012, is expected to hand over to the governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, on November 12.

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