The Man Attahiru Jega

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ABUJA, June 08, (THEWILL) - Professor Attahiru Jega: An educationist from the North, will be remembered for the role he played during the military era when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) under his leadership forced the government of General Ibrahim Babangida to sign the famous 1992 ASUU/FG agreement which sought to improve the welfare of university teachers and also recognize their role in nation building.

When he was ASUU president, Prof Maurice Iwu was the deputy president of the body.

He became the Vice Chancellor of the Bayero University, Kano in 2005. Jega was also a member of the Justice Uwais’ Electoral Reform Committee that produced a widely hailed report, which the government is yet to fully implement. His tenure as vice chancellor is to end in October.

The highly regarded former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and current vice chancellor of BUK is clearly known, nor is he by any stretch of the imagination unsung. He was celebrated not only for giving IBB headache but also for rejecting Abacha’s offer to appoint him as education minister, apart from his self-discipline, which is legendary.

His name and those of other national commissioners would be sent to the National Assembly for confirmation.

Jega was born in Jega, Kebbi State on January 11, 1957.

He attended Sabon Gari Town Primary School, Jega between 1963 and 1969 and moved on to Government Secondary School, Birnin Kebbi thereafter.

At the Bayero University College, Kano, he started his university education in 1974 and graduated in 1978 with a Second Class Upper BSc degree in Political Science.

While he worked as a teaching assistant Bayero University, he won a fellowship at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States in 1981 where he earned a PhD in Political Science and a Certificate in African Studies, before returning again to Bayero University in 1984 to resume as a lecturer in the Political Science department of the institution.

He was at one time a visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Lagos, between March 1992 and March 1993; a visiting Research Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Stockholm, Sweden in 1994; Deputy Vice-chancellor (Academic), BUK between 1995 and 1996; and Director, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, BUK between 2000 to 2004.

He was head of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano before his appointment five years ago as the Vice Chancellor of the university.

Under his ASUU presidency, Jega successfully negotiated welfare for lecturers which led to increase in salary and better funding of the universities. During his tenure the education tax fund was also established with companies making contributions to the funding of education in tertiary institutions.

As BUK VC, Jega was at the receiving end from his colleagues but was able to manage the situation allowing peace to reign on campus and bringing about developmental changes in the institution.