The president, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria Alumni Association, Professor Ahmed Tijani Mora has said that before the change of government in 2015, one out of every four Nigerians or 25 per cent of Nigerians were governed by ABU alumni.
He stated this when the committee of ABU alumni compendium paid a courtesy visit to Blueprint corporate headquarters in Abuja.
He said he was at Blueprint headquarters to solicit its help for the ABU alumni compendium.
On his entourage were Ms Kande Daniel (Secretary of the Compendium committee, Mahmud Muhammad Danjuma, chairman, compendium committee and Alexander Manchika Atta, member of the compendium committee.
Giving a brief history of the institution, he said, “ABU was established in 1962, but before then, there were other of units and institutes of the university, for example, Institute of Administration wh-which was established at Kongo in 1947, the first in West Africa; School of Agriculture at Samaru, established in 1978. All these were taken over in 1962 to found the Ahmadu Bello University by the late premier of northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
“ABU Zaria is the largest university in Nigeria, West Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. We are all old students of the university. I read Pharmacy. I graduated in 1978, and I was the deputy national president of the association from 2010-2015, then national president from 2015 to date.
“We have the largest alumni association among all the Nigerian universities. We have 50,000 students and also the heterogeneous nature of ABU is incomparable with any institution of higher learning in Nigeria. There is no local government in the country that is not represented in the institution in terms of admission.
“I said it with all sense of humility. It is the national of all universities in the country and we taught we should produce a compendium to showcase what the university has produced in terms of leadership.”
Professor Mora said the first civilian president of Nigeria to acquire university degree, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was an alumnus of ABU, adding that at present, ABU alumni have eight state governors.
“In fact, in 2015 before the general elections, we had 11 of them and minister of FCT making it 12. Simple arithmetic shows that 25 per cent of Nigerians were then governed by the alumni of ABU or one out of every four Nigerians.”
Mora also stated that many ministers, chief executives, vice chancellors, security and military personnel and a host of others, making waves all over Nigeria are ABU alumni.
He further stressed that ABU gave birth to Bayero University Kano (BUK); University of Maiduguri (UniMaid); Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto (UDUS), Kaduna State University, Gombe State University and so many universities.
“So we thought there is need to profile the institution in a compendium.
He said there was no way the compendium team could achieve their aim without the support of the media, that was why they came to solicit the support of Blueprint during and after the event.
In her response, the compendium committee secretary, Ms Kande Daniel, said the committee had been actually looking forward to meeting with Blueprint for many reasons, one of which was the support of the media.
“Now that we have the support of the media we are more confident with the prosecution of the project. We have a lot of confidence in Blueprint management and staff.
“We also want Blueprint to help us identify members of our alumni among its staff today or tomorrow so that we can continue to enrich our membership.”
She said they wanted ABU alumni in Blueprint so that they could work and grow together and give back to their alma mater collectively.
In his remark, the Managing Editor of Blueprint, Mr Clem Oluwole, said he missed being an ABU student in whiskers.
“I was torn between studying Fine Art and Journalism. ABU gave me admission to read Fine Art, but the seduction from Journalism camp was overwhelming.”
He said after completing his journalism course, he was posted to ABU, which he described as the citadel of learning. He further said that his association with ABU came to a higher level during the 17th NUGA games it hosted. He described how he was well treated by the then Dean of Student Affairs.
“However, when I finished my Journalism course, I was posted to The New Nigerian in Zaria. Of course, ABU was the citadel of learning that gave birth to other universities in the north. My work with The New Nigerian peaked when the ABU hosted the 17th NUGA games. The Dean, Student Affairs asked to give me accommodation in the main campus with meal ticket. The coverage I gave to NUGA games was so marvellous that when The Standard of Jos was established, they came for me based on the ABU NUGA games coverage.
Even before then, I had been writing for ABU at that time the university had a population of only 13000. But today one can easily get lost because of the massive infrastructure at ABU. I used to wonder whether ABU is a global village or community.
“Because of the long association with ABU, I thought I would have been given honorary doctorate degree during its last convocation.
“I personally have soft spot for ABU because apart from my close association with the institution, many of my family members are alumni of ABU,” he said
The Managing Editor described the visit as a welcome initiative.
“Because this will create a bond among members. You will get the best support from us ad I hope this is the begining of a long lasting relationship with us.”