By KIKELOMO IWAJOMO
President Buhari’s authorized biography – ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’ – written by Prof. John Paden – was launched earlier today at the International Conference Center in Abuja. The high-profile ceremony, which was not a government-funded project, was attended by five serving African presidents: President Buhari(Nigeria); President of Chad; and President of Benin Republic; President of Niger Republic; President of Cameroon; former Nigerian president/head of state – Gen Yakubu Gowon(retd.); Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; state governors; serving ministers; senior government officials; APC national chairman Chief John Oyegun; APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; billionaire businessman Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Mr. Tony Elumelu; and other eminent Nigerians. The proceeds of the book sales, according to the author, would go to the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) who are affected by atrocities of the terrorists group Boko Haram. During the presentation, guests were told not to launch the book with ridiculous prices but could buy many as they wanted at cover price.
Not many know that the author of this authorized biography Professor John Paden has known President Buhari for over 30 years. The renowned professor also authored the authoritative biography of Sir Ahmadu Bello which was published in 1986. Paden received his BA in philosophy from Occidental College, his MA in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and his PhD in politics from Harvard University.
He has served as Director of African Studies at Northwestern University, Professor of Public Administration at Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria, Nigeria), and Dean, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, at Bayero University (Kano, Nigeria). He is currently a Clarence Robinson Professor of International Studies at the George Mason University in Virginia, USA.
This authorized biography of President Buhari provides an up-close look at the life of a major ally of the West in the fight against terrorism, poverty, and corruption. The book covers Buhari’s early life and education, his military career, and his brief stint as military of state before he was deposed in a coup. The book examines the first year of his presidency, looking at the immense security, economic, and political challenges he faces and the bold moves he is making to tackle them with support at home and abroad.