Safinatu Buhari biography: Who was Muhammadu Buhari’s first wife?

Safinatu Buhari biography: Who was Muhammadu Buhari’s first wife?

Many people know the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, but how about his first wife Safinatu Buhari? Safinatu was a trained teacher and the first wife of President Muhammadu Buhari. She served as the First Lady of Nigeria between 1983 and 1985.

Safinatu Buhari first wife
President Muhammadu and his first wife. Photo: isa_safinatu
Source: Twitter

Many people know President Muhammadu as well as his second wife Aisha, but how about his first wife? Here is everything you need to know about her.

Safinatu Buhari profile summary

  • Full name: Hajiya Safinatu Buhari
  • Date of birth: 11th December 1952
  • Place of birth: Jos, Plateau State
  • Age at death: 53 years
  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Ethnicity: Fulani
  • Profession: A trained teacher

Safinatu Buhari biography

The teacher was born on 11th December 1952 in Jos, Plateau State. She was the daughter of Alhaji Yusuf Mani and Hajia Hadizatu Mani. She was one of the 13 kids of the Manis.

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Between 1959 and 1960, she schooled at the Tudun Wada primary school in Kaduna. She later left for Lagos because her father was transferred to Lagos to work as a Private Secretary to the late Musa Yar’adua, who was commissioner for Lagos affairs in the Federal cabinet of the First Republic.

After relocating to Lagos, she joined Women Teachers' College Katsina, from where she obtained a grade II teachers certificate in 1971.


According to the history of Safinatu Buhari, she did not get to practice her career despite having graduated with a grade II teachers certificate. She got married the same year she graduated.

Husband and marriage

History of Safinatu Buhari
President Muhammadu in the Rose Garden of the White House. Photo: Cheriss May
Source: Getty Images

The late Safinatu Buhari first met President Muhammadu when she was only 14 years old. When Muhammadu was in the Nigerian army, he accompanied his friend the late General Shehu Musa to Safinatu's father.

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It is during this time that Muhammadu and Hajiya started having a romantic relationship. The two lovebirds exchanged their vows in 1971. She got married just two days after her graduation. At the time, she was only 18 years old.

In 1988, after 12 years of marriage, Hajiya and her husband got divorced. In December 1989, President Muhammadu married his second and current wife, Aisha.

Safinatu Buhari children

Safinatu Buhari daughter
Muhammad Buhari with his first wife Safinatu and their children. Photo: Gossip House
Source: Facebook

Safinatu and President Muhammadu had five children together, one boy and four girls. These children are:

  • Zulaihat
  • Fatima
  • Musa
  • Hadiza
  • Safinatu

Safinatu Buhari daughter, Zulaihat, passed on in November 2012. She passed away due to sickle cell anaemia 2 days after giving birth at a hospital in Kaduna.

Death and funeral

Safinatu Buhari first wife to President Muhammadu was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998. She lived with the illness for eight years before succumbing to the disease in 2006.

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She died on 14th January 2006 and was laid to rest at Unguwar Rimi cemetery according to Muslim funeral rites.


  • Safinatu and Buhari exchanged their wedding vows in December 1971.
  • She was a Grade 2 certificate holder from WTC.
  • She got married two days after her graduation.

Safinatu Buhari is one of the strongest women in the history of Nigeria. She faced numerous challenges, from dealing with a divorce to battling diabetes for eight years. She conquered so much until her death.

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She has an enchanting appearance, a lovable personality, and has aced her Degree in Law. Even with a successful family and lots of wealth and fame, she has opted to pave her career and create her wealth. She is one of the most prominent lawyers in the country.

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