Labour Party officially unveils Baba-Ahmed as Obi’s running mate Friday
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has picked a former senator and founder of Baze University, Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as his running mate.
The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, said the unveiling would be done in Abuja on Friday.
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, who is in his late 40s is the Proprietor of Baze University, Abuja and Baba-Ahmed University Kano.
Obi, in an interview with Arise TV, may have confused his pick with the Director of Publicity and Advocacy of Northern Elders Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed.
He said: “We are talking to quite a number of people and Hakeem Baba-Ahmed is a capable hand. But I wish I could work with somebody who is younger.”
“I prefer younger people who have a lot to offer rather than recycling old hands.
“I want a competent person and I am building a formidable team.
“I want people who can look me in the eyes and disagree with me during cabinet meetings. People who have their own minds and ideas.”
Baba-Ahmed, one of the 33 children of his father, an Arab cattle trader, with roots in Mauritania, hails from Zaria.
He was born in 1975 and attended the University of Maiduguri, where he studied economics, up to the Master’s 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 December 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.
He was elected as a House of Representatives member for Zaria in 2003. During his tenure in 2006, he bagged an MBA from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and 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 toward fixing the system in order for Nigeria to realize its potential and address various challenges.
Senator 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 a total capacity of 4,000 students. It is worthy of note that the schools have graduated over 6,000 students to date.
In 2015, Senator Yusuf Baba-Ahmed was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Hope Alive Foundation – which campaigns for the post-service economic survival of corps members who suffered permanent disability during service.
Senator Baba-Ahmed is currently the Managing Director, Baze Research & Data Service Ltd, and Chairman, Baze Construction Ltd.
His companies employ over 1,000 people including expatriates and highly skilled professional Nigerians from the Diaspora.