It was dawn in Nigeria on Dec. 31, 1983, just a few days before my ninth birthday and I was excited for my party. When the news broke that the military had taken over power in a coup, my father, a former police officer and a card-carrying member of the Unity Party of Nigeria, a Socialist factional party of southwest Nigeria, was concerned about our safety.
He locked us in a room and begged us to not scream while he explained to us, his three children, what had happened. When Maj. Gen. Mohammed Buhari was named as the military ruler of the country, it meant little to me. It was just another day in a chaotic Nigeria. Within a few months, however, his influence reached even me.