Until recently when Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed was presented as the running mate of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, he was in the recesses of national politics in Nigeria.
In the event which held in Abuja on Friday, Obi said after thorough search and consultations, Baba-Ahmed fitted into his vision and that of the party’s to “take back Nigeria.”
“This is our right to secure, unite and make Nigeria productive. And you cannot do that without having people who have similar visions, ideas and are prepared for the task. So, I have the honour today to present to you, God willing, Nigeria’s next Vice President in the person of Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed,” the former governor of Anambra State had said.
Though Baba-Ahmed was a former lawmaker at the National Assembly, little was known of his political activities at the national level since he left the Senate in 2007.
In this piece, Daily Trust takes a look at some of the vocal points of his social and political life.
Baba-Ahmed is a Nigerian economist and founder of Baze University, a private tertiary institution he founded in 2011 at Jabi, Abuja.
Born in 1969 to the Baba-Ahmed family in Zaria, Kaduna State, he is one of the 33 children of his father said to be an Arab cattle trader from modern-day Mauritania. His father later became a notable professor and expert in Islamic jurisprudence.
Baba-Ahmed has a B.Sc and M.Sc in Economics from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State. He also has an MBA from the University of Wales, Cardiff.
In 2006, he bagged his PhD at the University of Westminster and worked in business and banking industry for several years before venturing into politics.
After his service year at the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun State, he worked as projects co-ordinator, Baze Research and Data Services Limited 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. He then returned to Baze Research and Data Services Ltd in July 1999 as a managing director, a position he held until January 2003 when he went into politics.
Baba-Ahmed sought election into political office on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in 2003, the same year President Muhammadu Buhari first contested for president under the same party.
While Buhari lost the presidential election, Baba-Ahmed was elected into the Federal House of Representatives in April 2003 to represent Zaria Federal Constituency, Kaduna State.
He was popular for his principled activism. During former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, he was among the lawmakers who opposed Obasanjo’s third term bid.
In May 2006 he said he would not seek reelection unless action was taken to investigate allegations that members had been bribed to support the constitutional changes needed for a third term presidency.
He contested and won the Kaduna North Senatorial elections in 2011 under Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which was then led by Buhari, who contested again for president but lost.
The election was challenged at the court by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which led to Baba-Ahmed’s controversial victory being upturned.
In 2018, he ran unsuccessfully for the PDP presidential ticket. In 2022, he pulled out as a gubernatorial aspirant in the PDP primaries in Kaduna State, citing his refusal to bribe delegates as his reason.
He was consequently nominated as the Vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections on July 8, 2022.