SENATOR (PROF.) IYA ABUBAKAR , B.Sc (LONDON), Ph.D (Cambridge), Hon D.Sc (Ife), Hon D. Sc (ABU), FIMA, FRAS,FNYAS,FAS,FCOAN Citation for Nigeria Computer Society Special Recognition Award in 2014
Outstanding Legislator, seasoned University administrator, brilliant scholar and internationally renowned Mathematician. He holds the degree of Bachelor of Science with First Class Special Honours in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan and he obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, UK. In his three year study at the University of Ibadan, he won the annual prize for the best student in the Department of Mathematics every year and on graduation the prize for the best graduating student in the faculty of science. He is the first person in the Northern States of Nigeria to earn the degree of Ph.D in any subject.
He started his academic career as Research Assistant in the seismological Laboratory of the famous California Institute of Technology Pasadena, USA, and on his return to Nigeria he joined the service of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, as Lecturer in Mathematics and rose to the post of Professor of Mathematics. He became Head of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the age of thirty two years – a record in the Nigerian University system. While in the service of the Ahmadu Bello University, he became its Vice-Chancellor before retiring in 1979.
On retirement, he ventured to politics and was one of the founders of the National Party of Nigeria (N.P.N) and was elected one of the National Vice Chairmen of the Party. He has been Minister of Defence 1979-81, and concurrently Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs, October-December 1979, and Minister of Internal Affairs 1981-82.
He held various posts in several Federal and state Government Parastatals and has been Chairman of the National Manpower Board and Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of councils of the University of Ibadan and the University of Abuja. In the organized private sector, he served on the Boards of directors of several notable Companies.
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, named its Computer Centre, which he had started, “IYA ABUBAKAR COMPUTER CENTRE” and Bauchi State Government named the IT Centre built with US Aid to service the North-East Zone, “IYA ABUBAKAR RESOURCE CENTRE”.
Professor Abubakar joined the Services of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja in 1992. He was elected in 1999 and reelected in 2003 as the Senator representing the Adamawa North Senatorial District in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He made significant contributions to senate proceedings and served as Chairman Committee on Science and Technology and other committees.
It is my honour and privilege to present to you Senate (Prof.) Iya Abubakar, an epitome of modesty and humility; a dedicated public servant and nationalist; an accomplished academician, a recipient of the Honourary Degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Honourary Degree of Doctor of Science Honoris causa, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Honourary Degree of Science Honoris Causa, University of Ibadan; a recipient of the Award for excellence of the Nigerian institute of Physics; a recipient of the Presidential Gold Medal Awarded to the Fifty most Outstanding Nigerians at the Fiftieth Anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence on 1st October, 2010; a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications of the United Kingdom; a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom; a Fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS); a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science; a Fellow of the New York Academy of Science; and the Galadima of Mubi.