A Tribute To A Distinguish Alumnus And One- Time President Of ABU Alumni Association: Late Alhaji Abubakar Gimba
PROFILE OF THE ABU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association started in the early sixties in Lagos. It began as an association made up of graduates of the then newly established Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and the defunct Nigeria College of Arts and Science (CAS), Zaria. Pioneer members of the Association include Architect (Chief) Fola Alade, Late Architect Lai Balogun and Late Professor Awojobi.
The Association grew over the years and new branches were established. Prominent among the new branches that flourished were Delta State Branch, Plateau State Branch and the Rivers State Branch. The University’s keen interest in the Association brought about a very close working relationship between the leadership of the Association and successive Vice Chancellors in Ahmadu Bello University.
These events as reported above, led to the creation of a secretariat for the Association based at ABU, Zaria. An Alumni Coordinating Committee (ACC) was set up on Ahmadu Bello University. The committee members consisted of prominent academics and top ranking members of the University community. Among these personalities were Professor Abdulrahman Ghaji, Professor Jacob Eduvie, Dr. Sani Muazu, and Dr. S.U. Abdullahi. An Alumni Officer, in the person of Mrs. S. Njoku (Deputy Registrar), Registry Department was appointed by the Vice Chancellor. Subsequent Alumni Officers were Mrs. F.A. Abdullah, Registry Staff and later, Mal. S.M. Bappa, Late Dr. Hamman Ibrahim and Dr. B.B. Muhammad Dewu.
In the beginning, the university placed the Alumni Office directly under the office of the Vice Chancellor supervised by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Tukur Sa’ad. Currently, the supervision was done by the Vice Chancellor.
The Alumni National President was given an automatic seat on the University’s Governing Council representing the Alumni members. Thus successive National Presidents of the ABU Alumni Association were members of the University Governing Council which made it possible for the Association to make direct input into policy matters in the university in addition to other forms of intervention like raising funds for developmental projects and contributing to uplifting standards in their alma mater through donations, mobilizing members who offer lectures, most of them free, and facilitating access to grants and endowments for the university.
The Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association got a large boost under the administration of Major General Mamman Kontagora (Rtd) who revitalized the Alumni Office and interacted regularly with members and leadership of the Association. He visited several active Alumni Branches and set into motion a process which saw the body on its way to full recovery, integration into the university system and more active generally. The administration that came after him continued and put up a sizeable amount of resources to ensure that the Alumni body achieves its full potential and participated fully in the activities of the university. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdullahi Mahadi visited all active branches of the Association and ensured that the Alumni body was fully kept abreast of developments in the university. He placed a lot of emphasis on the focal role of the Alumni in resource mobilization for the university. This yielded dividends for Ahmadu Bello University with some Billions of Naira coming to it as grants, donations, endowments and gifts in cash and in kind. The leadership of Professor S. U. Abdullahi realizing the cash strapped situation of the Association ensured the approval of Council for the payment of registration fees by graduating students. This greatly improved the financial resource base of the Association.
The Ahmadu Bello University Alumni National Presidents who served the Association over the last two decades are chief/Arc. FolaAlade, Late Dr. Dalhatu Araf, Late Alhaji S.A. Mohammed, Mohammed Kari, Arc. Mohammed Dewu, Alh. Abubakar Gimba, Amb/Engr. Bunu Sheriff Musa, the fomer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of ABU’s Governing Council; and currently, Dr. (Princess) H. I. Ogan who assumed office in July 2010.
The National body currently has seventeen (17) National Executive Committee (NEC) members who pilot the affairs of the Alumni Association. The previous Board of Trustees members were made up of Late Alhaji Yahaya Gusau (Shettiman, Sokoto), late Major Gen. Mamman Kontagora (Rtd), Arc. (Chief) Fola Alade, Engr. Dr. Ujaaman, Alhaji (Dr.) Yayale Mahmud Ahmed, Chief Barnabars Gemade and Engr. Nze Nwankwo. All the organs of the Association are currently functional in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
2. Its Role in the Overall Development of the University
The National President of the Alumni Association pointed out during the Association NEC Courtesy Visit to the Vice Chancellor that they are aware of the prevailing challenges in the area of infrastructure, issues leading to polarization of staff in the University Community, challenges of accreditation and many others. The Alumni resolved to partner with the University Administration to speedily mobilized resources to revamp old and obsolete facilities, network capacity, building the synergy for repositioning the Ahmadu Bello University to create a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere for acquiring knowledge.
Some of the planned activities of the Association to achieve these include:
Some of the projects and donations made by Alumni of the University are as follows:
Population of the Alumni and its Branches at the Local, National and International Levels
Ahmadu Bello University has to its credit over 500,000 Alumni found in all parts of Europe, Asia and the United States of America. Our Alumni and Alumnae today occupy key positions in both public and private sectors in various countries across the globe.
There are about 30 state Branches and 12 Faculty-Base Chapters of ABU Alumni Association in Nigeria. Concerted effort is being made to establish Alumni Branches outside the shores of Nigeria.
3. Mode of funding of the Alumni
The Mode of funding of the Alumni is as follows:
4. Range and Frequency of Activities of the Association
The National Association meets annually (Annual General Assembly) in the Main Campus and in every two (2) years holds its election which is applicable to the State Branches and Faculty Base Chapters.
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