Northern Iya Abubakar, in Nigeria becomes the First Northerner to Bag Ph.D. Iya Abubakar was a man who at 28 was a professor of Mathematics, had been the first person from northern Nigerian to bag a PhD in any field. The young northern got this from the University of Cambridge.
Abubakar, who is 84 today, was born on 14 December 1934.
He was educated at Barewa College, University College Ibadan (later to become the University of Ibadan) and earned a Ph.D at the University of Cambridge.
He worked as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in 1965-66, before being appointed as Professor of Mathematics at Ahmadu Bello University at the age of 28, in 1967.
The first northerner to earn Ph.D, Iya Abubarkar, held this position until 1975, as well as a visiting professorship at the City University of New York from 1971-72.
At 38 in 1975, he was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, a position he held until 1978.
Abubakar was a director of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 1972 to 1975.
In 1979, Abubakar was appointed the Federal Minister of Defence, holding this office until 1982.
From 1993 to 2005, he was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Ibadan, his alma mater.
In the late 1990s, he served as director of the National Mathematical Centre at Abuja and chaired both the National Manpower Commission of Nigeria and the non-governmental Africa International Foundation for Science and Technology.
Abubakar Iya was elected Senator for the Adamawa North constituency of Adamawa State, Nigeria on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He was reelected in April 2003.
In 2007, Iya Abubakar refused to go for third term in the Senate by saying, “It is enough for me.”