Zulaiha Buhari-A Tribute To The Rarest Gem Of All By Hadiza Musawa

Zulaiha Buhari
Hadiza Musawa
By Hadiza Musawa

On Friday the 30th November 2012; literary hundreds were shocked by the announcement of the death of Hajiya Zulaiha Muhammad Buhari, the first daughter of the Former Head of State, General Muhammad Buhari (Rtd). To anyone that knew or heard of her gentle soul, Zulaiha or Magajiya (she was named after her paternal grandmother) as her loved ones fondly called her, was the most humble and gentle human being you could ever meet. An endless list of complimentary words cannot define the incredible person that this astoundingly selfless lady was. She was the pride of her family, the most obedient daughter, the most caring mother any child could wish for, a devoted wife, a faithful friend and a priceless asset to her community.

Zulaiha Muhammed Buhari was born on the 5th December 1972 to Muhammad Buhari and Safinatu Buhari, now late. She attended Nursery School in the USA where her family was stationed at the time. She graduated from Primary School in Air Force Military School in Lagos. Zulaiha began her Secondary School in Queens College, Lagos and in 1985 she began her JS2 in Federal Government College, Kaduna where she graduated in 1990. She was admitted as a student of B.Sc. Economics in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where she later completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Management. She worked for a period of time for African Intercontinental Bank (AIB). Zulaiha then proceeded to work with Ministry of Solid Minerals And Steel in Kaduna; where she remained until her passing.

She founded the Hajiya Safinatu Buhari Foundation (HSB) in loving memory of her late Mother Hajiya Safinatu Buhari who died of diabetes in February 2006. The Foundation catered for the destitute that were stricken by diabetes mellitus. She also served as the Treasurer of NIM (Nigerian Institute of Management). In addition to these community service obligations, she worked diligently yet silently on several other NGO’s in her immediate community and beyond. Only those closest to her knew of her battle with sickle –cell anemia, a condition that she lived with bravery for she never succumbed to it until it so cruelly snatched her away.

In Nigeria, annually, over 150,000 children are born with Sickle- Cell disease. Over 100,000 of these children die annually. An estimated 5,000,000 Nigerians live with Sickle- Cell anemia. This is according to the former Director for Institute for Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan; where Professor Adeyinka Falusi gave the statistics. Many Nigerians are unaware that this country has the highest number of sickle cell patients in the world yet the poorest health care and support for the helpless patients.

Sickle- cell disease (SCD) or sickle- cell anaemia or drepanocytosis, is an autosomal recessive genetic blood disorder with overdominance, characterized by red blood cells that assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape. Sickling decreases the cells’ flexibility and results in a risk of various complications. The sickling occurs because of a mutation in the hemoglobin gene. Life expectancy is automatically shortened. In 1994, in the US, the average life expectancy of persons with this condition was estimated to be 42 years in males and 48 years in females, but today due to sophisticated drugs and better management of the condition, patients can live up to their 50’s and beyond. In Nigeria, the statistics are obviously not as favorable. This disease can cause several complications such as: overwhelming post- (auto) splenectomy infection (OPSI), stroke, silent stroke (a stroke that causes no immediate symptoms but is associated with damage to the brain), opioid tolerance, acute papillary necrosis in the kidneys, leg ulcers, consistent eye infections, high mortality risk during pregnancy, gallstones, aseptic bone necrosis, malfunctioning of spleen, bacterial bone infection, increased pressure on the pulmonary artery and high blood pressure.

Sickle- cell disease occurs more commonly in people (or their descendants) from parts of tropical and sub-tropical regions where malaria is or was common. In areas where malaria is common, there is a fitness benefit in carrying only a single sickle- cell gene (sickle cell trait). People with only one of the two alleles of the sickle- cell disease, while not totally resistant, are more tolerant to the infection and will therefore show less severe symptoms when infected. It is crucial to educate and enlighten parents with AS genotype in the risks involved if a child may turn out to be of SS genotype. In much the same way that we inherit blood type, hair color and texture, and other physical traits; the sickle- cell gene is also inherited. If one parent has sickle –cell anaemia (SS) and the other has sickle-cell trait then there is 50% chance of a child having sickle- cell disease and a 50% chance of a child’s having sickle- cell trait. When both parents have sickle- cell trait, a child has a 25% chance of sickle- cell disease.

It is a wonder that a person living with this traumatic disease made such a positive impact on the community as Zulaiha did. She was an epitome of an unassuming lady, who lived her life with the humility and simplicity unheard of for a former first daughter. My sister, Hadiza and I, with tears of sorrow and a heavy heart recall the memorable undergraduate days spent with Zulaiha in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She had a humble nature, spirit of forgiveness, dedication in studies, accommodation of friends and loved ones, her gift of a simplistic character that drew her to everyone and endeared her in the eyes of all that were privileged to be part of her life. Her soft- spoken voice and beautiful smile were the perfect antidote for calming fiery tempers in the dorm and class. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Zulaiha never raised her voice or lifted a finger to hurt anyone or anything around her.  “Yaya Babba” (fondly called by her sisters) had the gift of an amazing spirit of living her life in the most exemplary way and this served as a shining example to not only her peers but her loved ones at home.

Hajiya Zulaiha Buhari is survived by her husband, Captain Junaid Abdullahi, three wonderful children, Halima Junaid, Muhammad Buhari Junaid and her precious new born baby girl. Her memory lives in the hearts of her caring Father and Mother, beloved sisters and brother, family and many friends. They should take much consolation in the fact that very few people can be described with the wondrous revelation and accolades that this dearest soul has been. No Father can be prouder of a daughter with such an admirable spirit, no child can be prouder of a Mother who transgressed beyond her illness to ensure they got the best in life, no sister can be prouder of one who showed them the path of dignified humility and no friend can be prouder of the legacy this amazing soul has left behind.

No one can question the will of the Almighty, no one can comprehend the torturous pain her family are going through, and for surely the grief of even the silent tears are the most painful. But a woman that lived her life in peace and goodness will surely be rewarded accordingly in the hereafter.
 It is said that a diamond is the rarest most precious gem, but in Zulaiha Muhammed Buhari, the rarest and most precious of all has been lost.

Hadiza Musawa  

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Age: 32                                  Age: 49                                        Age: 28


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One lesson for all of us

May Allah forgive her sins, exalt her ranks, and grant her a place in Jannah!

Life is so temporary and fragile. To Allah we belong and to Him we shall all return.

One lesson for all of us - we experience people dying around us all the time: family, friends, acquaintances, strangers. Yet, it never occurs to us that one day, we will be that person who dies, and people will be remembering us like we remembered those before us.

The wise one is he who takes heed before it is too late.

Damn Deri, the heartless Ijaw drunkard

@Deri :
No surprises there. Ijaws are the most heartless bastards to grace the face of the earth. The beautiful lady left a legacy in her short life, while Meni, your uncle Joe's brother died of kidney failure due to alcohol and drug abuse. That's why no one is writing any eulogies to his memory, he was a drunkard like every other Ijaw clown from Utuoke. The drunk died at the Aso Rock Clinic, the young lady died in a public hospital. Big difference! Hippopatience is rolled from one foreign hospital to the other and you come here to make disparaging comments about a person you've never heard of. Ima Niboro, your excesses will earn you a bullet in the head if you're not careful. Your clueless Utuoke Clown belongs to the Zoo, his record is no match for Buhari's. Drunkards!

@Hadiza Musawa : RESPECT! for a beautiful piece. God has received the deceased and her legacy will remain the source of fortitude to the family she left behind. Thanx for remembering!

Even the Saudis take their

Even the Saudis take their kings and queens to american hospitals for treatment-we took late yara adua to mecca for treatment-the saudi kings dont get taken care of in their hospitals! They go to the USA-The father of Jonathan died at our aso rock clinic-which Obj and IBB said they spent billions of naira to erect. The younger brother of Jonah died in the same place-But IBB had his wife taken to the USA where she died in search of a cure to her ailment-the wife of OBJ died in Spain-so what is so special about Dame going for a check up in Germany? Our great Awo, never went for a check up in Nigeria-for once--even the latest designer baby--I mean adult with the soul of of a baby alhaji buhari secretly flew to london to treat the cancer or brain tumour in him-was buhari not the man late abacha hired to re-furbish our hospitals

U're highly welcome Otile.

U're highly welcome my brother. I really appreciate d fact that u're unbiased Nigerian unlike ur brothers who always take delight in cursing & abusing us.
More greas 2 ur elbow!
Longlife 9ja!

Dear Deri, a wonderful piece

Dear Deri, a wonderful piece you have there. But you know what I striking about it? Buhari lost his daughter in a Nigeria hospital in Kaduna while all others you mentioned lost their in hospitals outside Nigeria. Could it be because he believe in Nigeria more? Even the current first lady was taken to Germany.

Boko haram are in my government says the president. Is buhari part of his government?

Boko haram is sponsored by people in PDP, so says Azazi b4 he was booted out. Is Buhari a PDP member?

Billions missing during his administration. Pls I would like to know more, first time I am hearing this, what billion?

Buhari's Satanic Administration. Isn't it funny that his administration remains the benchmark for discipline and least with executive corruption in Nigeria.

The bible says seek the truth and it shall set you free. Can you swear by your faith that you are not bearing false witness against the man Buhari?

Thank you

Adieu!, Sister Zulai

May your soul rest in peace. God grant your family and well-wishers the fortitude to bear this loss.

@Otile: Is this really you? It's a sign that your'e feeling or have begun to feel for others. When a person shows some genuine feelings, even heaven rejoices. It's when the prodigal son returns that the father sacrifices and celebrations were held. Accept my friendship. Hoping we'll work for the betterment of our little Zulaihas and Julianas.

Even a little change of heart is a sign of a great soul.


Please accept my deepest sympathies for you and your family. We know that you are going through a difficult time and no amount of words will help take the pain away. As hard as it seems, you will get through this difficult time and emerge stronger. Allah jikan zulaiha da rahama ka kuma sa ALjanna ta zama itace makomarta.

Tribute to Zulaiha

She is an epitome of beauty and humility, just like he father. Unfortunately we Nigerians are blinded by ethnic sentiments we hardly can decipher who can bring us to the promised land.Her father was opportuned to own multiple Oil wells but resisted! When are we going to open our eyes to stark realities on ground? Babangida destroyed flow when he forced Buhari out returning us to status quo. Read your history well! Buhari wept for Nigeria, we laughed at him! Dumb heads wake up!!

Omoaholo Imogirie, I know you

Omoaholo Imogirie,

I know you are touched by the beuaty of our beloved late Zulaihi. That's why I have been asking you to find me a good Musulima, preferably of Hausa Fulani stock. I know you love them too, but you like to keep them for yourself.

Again, May Almighty God receive the soul of Zulaihi into paradise.


It is very sad we lost such dynamic person to sickle cell. It goes to tell how Buhari family are simple and not like the looters that we have now parading them selves as ppl who care for Nigeria.
Zulaiha led a simple life like the dad -Buhari but died honorably.
May her gentle soul rest in peace and may the lord give Buhari the fortitude to bear the lost.
Adue Zulaiha!!!!

If Zulaiha was a Christian

If Zulaiha was a Christian woman her real name would be Juliana. See how the Mohammedans twist Christian things.

May her soul rest in peace.

The sychophants are back

Late Zik lost his daughter in far away Kenya. Not a single flower was laid on her grave side by the FGN. Awo lost his son in London. Bola Ige same as Awo in London-Jonathan his younger brother in Bayelas state-among other talakawas in the North! Besides, hundreds have died unmourned via the hand of the evil boys Buhari planted in Boko haram-so what is so special about the daughter of Holy prophet buhari? Who is yet to account for the billions that went missing during his satanic adminstration. Buhari who gave the masses stone when they asked for bread!? Or was she not around when her father ordered his boys to lynch anything lynchable during the post election riots in the North? Over 1,000 9jas as well as 11 NYSC members were kliiled in cold blood-Again why must 9jas play politics with everything including the remains of their mothers, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, uncles, nephews, brothers and sister in laws

She Was A Paragon Of Beauty! Death Is The Only Spoiler Of Life.

To General Muhammad Buhari, may God give you the strength to bear the loss of your beloved daughter Zulaiha. She has left you with gift of grand children. May you see her through her children she left behind. General M. Buhari, dwell on the good life she spent on earth and may her memories keep you going. We will one day all pass away like a vapor. Death is a liability we owe God. Beauty & handsome when our day is complete we will depart this world. Let us leave a lasting legacy behind.

God bless her soul

God bless her soul! Like his father General Buhari she is a simple, humble woman who cares for the down trodden and does not believe in "currying favour" and playing the big man's child. Rest in peace Sweet heart, and my sincere condolence to the people's general and epitome of honesty and integrity gen Buhari

With wet eyes i write this,

With wet eyes i write this, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. May Allah forgive her short-comings,grant her aljannat firdaus, and May her grave be an abode of light. amin.


May her soul rest in peace. Late Zulaiha was daddy's girl. For some of us who know her father well, the public may not know how good a father Gen.Buhari is.He is a man whom any boy or girl would like to call his/her father. Extremely protective and loving father. To the world Buhari is a GENERAL,tough, eloquent, crowd pleaser and people's general. Believe me, when it come to his family, he is like a woman, where the man is incharge. He loves her late daughter so much, he would even die for her, if that would save his daugher's life. No question Gen. Buhari is an empty man now. Please those around the general now should not think he is still the general they know, they should keep eye on Buhari for his own sake. He is definitely not a normal man without his late daughter, ask anyone that knows their relationship. That was main reason he shielded all his family members from public view because he loves his family more than his own life. Gen.Buhari, please take heart.

Rest In Peace

May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace, Amen!

A Glowing Tribute Indeed!

That was a very glowing tribute to Zulaiha Buhari. I pray that her Soul May Rest In Peace and that God will grant her survivors the fortitude to bear her loss, Amen.

By the way Ms. Hadiza, are you related to Hannatu Musawa, the notoriously Boko Haram sympathizer who tenaciously and frequently espouses the conniptions of Boko Haram?

I read this tribute with

I read this tribute with tears,the writer(Hadiza Musawa) had said everything about Zulai(magajiya) buhari,she was really a rarest gem of all,MAY ALJANNATUL FIRDAUS BE HER PERMANENT ABODE. May Allah bless all the children she left behind: Halimatu sadiya,Muhammad Buhari junior and the new baby girl Zulaihat(junior) named after her.May Allah give all her family and friends the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. R.I.P ZULAI(MAGAJIYA).


Whaoooooo! This is beautiful. I don't know her but am deeply touched by what is written and said of her. May her soul rest in perfect peace Amen. I guess another example of General Buhari's good works.

Loss of a gem

I send my sincere condolences to the Buhari family especially the rtd general.it is not easy to lose ones first daughter who must have been playing a motherly role in the family after the demise of their mother. I can see humility and no display of afluent wealth by even a former head of state in Nigeria.I m surprised she was not flown to one of the best hospitals in the US,Germany or Saudi Arabia.Afterall,her father was a former oil minister who rendered service to his nation and did not steal billions of dollars for keeps in foreign banks for generations after him.This is a lesson to our serving political office holders.Death is a debt we all owe whtever our status in life. We will pay one day. I pray her gentle soul rests in the bossom of our Lord. General.take heart,my Lord Jesus is the only
One that can
console you n ur family.Believe in Him n He will grant u the peace that passes all understanding.


How sad. May her soul rest in perfect peace. Sickle Cell disorder is quite a painful and stressful situation to deal with, and I can imagine how much pain she must have gone through. From what I have heard about her, it seems she was a pleasant and humble lady. May God comfort all who share her loss, both family and friends.

sad indeed

sad indeed



In memory of Zulai Buhari

Masha Allah, you have said it all. Indeed we have lost a rare Gem. Allah ya jikan Ki da rahama yayi miki gafara and may He bless what you have left behind.

In memory of Zulai Buhari

Masha Allah, you have said it all. Indeed we have lost a rare Gem. Allah ya jikan Ki da rahama yayi miki gafara and may He bless what you have left behind.