Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has unveiled a former senator and founder of Baze University, Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, as his running mate.
Baba-Ahmed was formally unveilied on Friday, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Obi settled for Baba-Ahmed, a politician turned academic, following the resignation of Dr Doyin Okupe, who had been the placeholder for the position.
Baba-Ahmed, one of the 33 children of his father, an Arab cattle trader, with roots in Mauritania, hails from Zaria.
Born in 1975, Baba-Ahmed attended the University of Maiduguri, where he studied economics, up to the Masters level.
He had his NYSC at the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta.
After his service year, he worked as Projects Co-ordinator, Baze Research and Data Services Ltd. and as Officer II in the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, Lagos.
He also worked as a Banking Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Plc from July 1997 to Dec, 1998 and then came back to become the Managing Director of Baze Research and Data Services Ltd in July 1999 – January 2003, before venturing into politics.
Baba-Ahmed was elected as a House of Representatives member for Zaria in 2003. In between his tenure in 2006, he bagged an MBA from University of Wales, Cardiff, the same year he completed his PhD studies, earning the title of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Westminster.
As a lawmaker, he opposed the third term agenda of President Obasanjo.
After leaving office in 2007, Baba-Ahmed returned to his Baze business group and founded Baze University, Abuja, in 2011. He is now the pro-chancellor.
The same year, he moved back to politics and won the Kaduna North senate seat, under the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). However, the electoral tribunal overturned his victory and he left office in 2012.
He became a notable professor and expert on Islamic jurisprudence. He is known to have been speaking out against corruption and the rot in the country’s educational system.
According to his biography published on the website of Baze University, Baba-Ahmed was inspired to set up the school to rectify the appalling educational system in Nigeria.
He hoped Baze University will contribute towards fixing the system, in order for Nigeria to realise its potentials and address various challenges.
Sen. Datti Baba-Ahmed is a well accomplished philanthropist. Among many of his corporate social responsibility projects; he built and donated two junior secondary schools with total capacity of 4,000 students. It is worthy of note that the schools have graduated over 6,000 students to date.
In 2015, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed was appointed as Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Hope Alive Foundation – which campaigns for post-service economic survival of corps members who suffered permanent disability during service.
Sen. Baba-Ahmed is currently the Managing Director, Baze Research & Data Service Ltd, Chairman, Baze Construction Ltd.
His companies employ a total of over 1,000 people including expatriates, and highly skilled professional Nigerians from the Diaspora.