Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, OFR
Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega was born on the 11th of January, 1957. From 1963 to 1969, he attended Sabon-Gari/Town Primary School, Jega, where he obtained his Primary School Leaving Certificate; and the West African School Certificate (WASC) and the General Certificate of Education (GCE) O’ Level in 1974 at the Government Secondary School, Birnin-Kebbi. On leaving secondary school, he was admitted into Bayero University College, Kano (ABU, Zaria) for his Advanced Level Certificate studies; after which he proceeded for his undergraduate studies. He graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Hon) in Political Science.
In 1979, after the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in the then Cross River State, he took up appointment with Bayero University, Kano (BUK). He thereafter proceeded to Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, where he obtained his Masters (1981) and Doctorate (1985) degrees in Political Science – specializing in Political Economy. While at Northwestern, he also obtained a Certificate in African Studies.
Professor Jega’s rich academic career saw him serve at various times as Visiting Research Fellow, University of Stockholm, Sweden (Swedish Institute Fellowship), 1994; Visiting Research Fellow, St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, 1996; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Bayero University, Kano, 1995-1996; Acting Director, Centre for Research and Documentation (CRD), Kano,1998; and Director, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, BUK, 2000-2004. He attained the pinnacle on September 6th, 2004, with his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano – a position he occupied until his appointment as the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in June 2010.
Other professional / community service positions held by Professor Jega include being: Member, Presidential Panel on Review and Harmonization and Rationalization of Federal Government Parastatals, Institutions and Agencies, 1999-2000; Member, Governing Council, the African Centre for Democratic Governance (AFRIGOV), 1997 to 2003; Member, Governing Board, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, 2002-2004; Chairman, Governing Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), 2003-2004; Member, Presidential Advisory Council on Youth Affairs, 2001-2007; and Member, Vision 20-20-20 Committee, National Working Group on Niger Delta and Regional Development, 2009.
From 1992 to 1998, Professor Jega was Director of Research, Nigerian Political Science Association; Member, Presidential Panel on Rationalization and Streamlining of Federal Government Poverty Alleviation Programmes and Institutions, 1999; and Member, Presidential Technical Committee on the Consolidation of the Tertiary Education Sector, 2006-2007. One of his most renowned service positions was as President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), 1988-1994. He was also Member, Electoral Reform Committee, August 2007- December 2008.
Professor Jega is a recipient of many academic and honorary laurels which include the National Merit Award of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Federal Government of Nigeria, 2005; Fellowship Award by the National Association for Research and Development, 2006; and “Man of the Year” Award by Newswatch Magazine, 1993 & 2011. He is widely published, with several books, articles, monographs and reports in areas such as Government Policies, Political Economy, Democracy, Political Process, Good Governance and Identity Politics. Professor Jega is happily married with children.