The ABU Alumni Association started in the last part of the sixties in Lagos, through the spearheading endeavors of some early alumni of the University, among them, Arc. (Boss) Fola Alade, late Arc. Lai Balogun and late Professor Ayodele Awojobi.
At this stage, it functioned as a social interactive meeting of a couple of graduates in and around Lagos. In 1975, the primary endeavor to give the ABU Alumni Association a National standpoint started when the main Caretaker Committee was set up.
Following after, a Midwest Branch was born in Benin City in addition to the existing group in Lagos. Hence, Branches were established in such cities as Warri, Jos, Port Harcourt, and Kaduna. This was the first era.
The second Era ABU Alumni Association
In the early years, the Lagos Branch additionally worked as the National Body. During these years, an endeavor was made to give the Association a constitution and to isolate the National Organ from the Lagos State Branch. This endeavor didn’t exactly succeed, part of the way in light of the fact that the central players were completely situated in Lagos.
A National Constitution could not be agreed and leadership revolved around the willing and available. Nevertheless, this second era witnessed the laying of a solid foundation and the involvement of more graduates occupying key government positions in the affairs of the Association.
This era witnessed the leadership of Chief (Arc.) Fola Alade, late Dr. Dalhatu Araf, late Alhaji S.A. Mohammed, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, who at various times served as National President.
The Third Era
Arch. Mohammed Dewu as National President and the late Barrister Mohammed Adamu as National Secretary who succeeded the Alhaji Mohammed Kari’s Executive gave so much in laying the modern foundation for the ABU Alumni Association. This third era (1998-2002) witnessed the following:
- Establishment of new Branches.
- Setting up of a Board of Trustees.
- Formal Registration of the Association with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
- Hosting of a National Reunion Dinner.
- Attempt to give the Association a workable constitution.
During this era, awareness about the ABU Alumni Association increased across the country. Branches began to demand to play a greater role in the affairs of the Association and for some formal relationship with the National Body. As there was no working constitution and discernable structure, the feeling of alienation continued unabated.
The Fourth Era
In March 2000, the Rivers/Bayelsa Branch of the Association under the Chairmanship of Mr. A.T.C. Edebiri invited the National Body for consultation on how to evolve a strong National Association.
This was followed by the convocation of a Stakeholders meeting at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt at which far-reaching decisions were taken.
The Edo, Delta, Zaria, and Lagos Branches were represented. The Jos Branch joined the group subsequently. In time, a Stakeholders Coordination Committee led by Mr. Edebiri began to challenge the state of affairs and gave birth to several committees, foremost among them, the Constitution Drafting Committee and the Contact Committee.
In October 2001, the first draft of the Constitution was formally adopted. At this meeting, the former President and Secretary-General, who were the only remnant of the old Executive Committee, were asked to step down from office.
A Caretaker Committee under the chairmanship of Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed Shika, Wakilin Makaranta Zazzau was put in place. It was this Committee that worked so hard to organize the July 2002 National Assembly, which brought in the Executive Committee led by Alhaji Abubakar Gimba, OFR.
The Role of the University Administration
From the mid-1980s, the University Administration had shown interest in the development of the ABU Alumni Association. The University offered facilities for a temporary Secretariat; set up an Alumni Coordination Committee made up of prominent academics and high-ranking members of the University Community and appointed an Alumni Officer in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.
Also, the Alumni National President was given an automatic seat on the University’s Governing Council. This 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 matter through donations.
This symbiotic relationship got a boost during the tenure of the Sole Administrator, Major General Mamman Kontagora (Rtd.), who revitalized the Alumni Office and interacted regularly with members and leadership of the Association.
The Administration that came after him continued with this process and put up a sizeable amount of resources to ensure that the Alumni Body achieved 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 emphasis on the focal role of the Alumni Association in resource mobilization for the University. This yielded a rich dividend for ABU with some contributions coming to it as grants, donations, endowments, and gifts in cash and kind.
Today, the current Vice-Chancellor has also kept pace with this tradition of working in partnership with the Alumni Association.
Today, there are more than 28 State Branches, 12 Faculty Chapters, and some Foreign Branches of the Association. Efforts are currently on to establish a Branch in every State of the Federation. The Association also currently has a full complement of 17 National Officer and a Board of Trustees
All the organs of the Association are currently functional in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. This gives hope for a very bright future.
The current executive of the ABU Alumni Association is led by a former Secretary-General of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Bayero University Kano, Dr. Ibrahim Sani Khalil.