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Ahmadu Bello University (founded 1962)

Ahmadu Bello University (founded 1962)
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Founded on October 4, 1962, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is a public university located in Zaria, Kaduna State in northern Nigeria. With over 35,000 students, it is the largest university in sub-Saharan Africa and the second largest on the African continent after the University of Cairo in Egypt. The institution was originally founded as the University of Northern Nigeria but was renamed in honor of the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, who was the first premier of northern Nigeria and the university’s first chancellor. Bello was murdered by Army officers on January 15, 1966 during Nigeria's first military coup.

The university has two main campuses, the Samaru and Kongo campus. The Samaru campus is home to the administrative offices, sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education and research facilities. The Kongo campus houses the Faculties of Law and Administration, which consists of accounting, business administration, local government and development studies, and public administration departments. The university also has the ABU Teaching Hospital, which is one of the largest training hospitals in Nigeria.

Currently, the university covers a land area of 7,000 hectares and encompasses twelve academic faculties, a postgraduate school and 82 academic departments. It also has five institutes, six specialized centers, a Division of Agricultural Colleges, a demonstration secondary school, a primary school and extension and consultancy services, which provide a variety of services to the university and the wider society. While most students are from northern Nigeria, the university attracts students from all over Africa. There are about 1,400 academic and research staff and 5,000 support staff working at ABU.

Ahmadu Bello University has numerous notable alumni including the current vice president of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo. Its philosophy/motto is, “The first duty of every university is the search for and the spread of knowledge and the establishment of the nation."

Sources:
Ten Years: The First Decade of Ahmadu Bello University, October 1962 - October 1972, and History of Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria, Ahmadu Bello University Press, 1972); Official Website: http://www.abu.edu.ng/index.php; http://www.abu.edu.ng/about/philosophy.php; http://www.abu.edu.ng/about/history.php, Brief History of Ahmadu Bello University: http://www.widernet.org/nigeriaconsult/abu.htm.

Contributor(s):
Egu, Ken Chiedozie
University of Washington, Seattle

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