ABU VC Race: Prof. Bala Defeats 10 Contestants To Emerge 12th Vice Chancellor, Amidst Top Fight

By Sameer S. Yusuf & Muhammad M. Isa

After about more than one year of internal and external intrigues, scheming, campaigns of calumny, propaganda and unnecessary lobbying by different interest groups and individuals that worked overtly and covertly to ensure successful emergence of their respective candidates in the contest for the position of Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the process of which ended yesterday (21/02/2020); Professor Kabiru Bala who became tops in the highly competitive race has been declared by the Malam Adamu Fika – led Governing Council of the University, as the duly elected 12th Substantive Vice Chancellor of the Premier Ivory Tower in Northern Nigeria.

Malam Fika who made the declaration today (22/01/2019 after the Council’s Special Meeting, at the University’s Centre for Historical Research and Documentation, otherwise known as Arewa House, Kaduna, thanked Almighty Allah for guiding and seeing them through the processes of the selection and eventual emergence of the institution’s next Vice Chancellor, a task, he described as very difficult and challenging.

Malam Fika however congratulated the in-coming Vice Chancellor, Professor Kabiru Bala, for his successful and impressive performance during the interview. He also commended all the other contestants for their equally wonderful performances and for displaying serene maturity and support to both the selection Board and the Council before and during the exercise.

With his emergence, which had since been speculated on various social media networks either with mischief intents and purposes or good intention, the 12th Vice Chancellor will make history as the 4th Kaduna State Indigene and the first from the Institution’s Faculty of Environmental Design, to be appointed to occupy the number one seat in ABU’s history.

Since its establishment in 1962 the university was run by different distinguished and reputable scholars as substantive Vice Chancellors, and once, by an Army officer, Niger State born General Mamman Dan Tsoho Kontagora, as Sole Administrator, who achieved landmark record in the university that can never be forgotten in a hurry by its primary stakeholders.

At its inception, the university had a British academic and physicist as its Vice Chancellor, Dr. Norman Alexander and after whose tenure, mantle of the university’s leadership was transferred to Professor Ishaya Audu, a medical doctor, though late, but who is reputed, to date, as the first most successful indigenous Vice Chancellor of the institution. Pofessor Ishaya Audu was from Kaduna State.

After Professor Ishaya Audu, the third Vice Chancellor of the university was a Yoruba Man and a Medical Doctor from Ibadan, Professor Akinkugbe Oladikupo, followed by Professor Adamu Nayaya Muhammad from Bauchi State. Professor Nayaya was in the institution’s Faculty of Agriculture.

The Fifth and Sixth Vice Chancellors of the University were Professor Iya Abubakar from Adamawa State and Professor Ango Abdullahi who is the second Kaduna state indigene to preside over affairs of the institution. While Professor Iya Abubakar was a world acclaimed and respected Mathematician from the institution’s Faculty of Sciences, Professor Ango Abdullahi, another First Class Scholar, was from the Faculty of Agriculture.

The 7th, 8th and 9th Substantive Vice Chancellors of the university were Professor (Senator) Daniel Saror from Benue State, Professor Abdullahi Mahdi from Borno State and Professor Abdullahi Mustapha from Katsina State.

While Prof. Saror was from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Professor Mahdi was a Historian from the Faculty of Arts, and Professor Mustapha was from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The 10th, 11th and 12th Vice Chancellors of the university were Professor Shehu Usman Abdullahi (Kaduna State), Professor Ibrahim Garba (Kano State) and Professor Kabiru Bala (Kaduna State). While Professor S. U, was from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ibrahim Garba was from Department of Geology in the Faculty of Sciences, Professor Kabiru is from Building Department, Faculty of Environmental Design.

It would be recalled that Professor Kabiru Bala contested  the VC position with 10 other Professors, among whom were four former Vice Chancellors, One serving Vice Chancellor and five others.

The former Vice Chancellors were Professor Abubakar Sambo of ATBU, Professor Mukhtar Abdulrahman of KASU, Professor I. M Umar of Gombe State University and a former Vice Chancellor from University of Jos. The Serving Vice Chancellor is Professor Idris Isa Funtua of Umar Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina.

Others are Professor S. Z. Abubakar, the current DVC (Admin) of ABU Zaria, Professor Sani Miko, Professor Muhammad Abdullahi (Super DOC), Professor Kabiru Sabitu and a certain Professor from the University of Ibadan.

Professor Kabiru Bala was born in January 1964, at Unguwan Sarki, Kaduna, where he attended his primary school and from where he proceeded to Barewa College Zaria.

After his secondary school, he proceeded to the once famous School of Basic Studies (SBS) for his one year intensive IJMB, a pre-degree Programme after which he was admitted into the Department of Building where he obtained his first and second degrees. Before obtaining his PhD in Construction Management, in the same department, Bala was earlier admitted into University of Abertay, Dundee, in Scotland, Britain, where he undertook his Ph.D Program, and later came back to ABU where he was awarded another Ph.D.

He started his lecturing career in ABU, Zaria, where he rose to the rank of Professor of Construction Management and where he had held several academic and administrative positions in the university, such as Head of Department, Director of Academic Planning, Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies, DVC (Admin) etc.

He is widely travelled and married with children.

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