THE LIFE AND TIME OF AN ELDERSTATEMAN: DR. CHRIS SHU.AIBU ABASHIYA
Dr. Chris Shu’aibu Abashiya, who was born on 21st September, 1939, received Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and Lord and was baptized at an early age, through the proselytizing activities of the white Missionaries of the then Sudan Interior Mission, which, in later years, metamorphosed into the Evangelical Church Winning All.
Dr. Abashiya began his educational journey by attending the then Sudan Interior Primary School, Kwoi from 1945 to 1952 and passed out with First School Leaving Certificate. In later years the School was renamed Mallam Maude Model Primary School.
In 1954 he gained admission into the then provisional Secondary School, Zaria (Now Alhudahuda College) and graduated in 1959, with a Division Two West African School Certificate.
With an ambition to further his education, he proceeded to the then Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria for his Advanced Level Certificate (Pre-University Entry Qualification). He successfully completed the course and obtained the General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level in Geography, History and Hausa in June, 1962.
As Dr. Abashiya was obtaining his Advanced Level Certificate, education fortune knocked on his door with the metamorphosis of the then Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology into the Admadu Bello University, Zaria in October, 1962. Thus, Dr. Abashiya was privileged to be one of the pioneer students of the University. He registered into the Faculty of Administration in October, 1962. By the grace and sovereignty of God, he graduated in June, 1965, with the only 1st Class Honours degree in Administration, out of a class of thirty nine students.
Because of his excellent grades, Dr. Abashiya won a Commonwealth Scholarship, within three months, to pursue a master’s degree in Politics and Administration at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, in October, 1965. He was awarded the M. Soc. Sci. (Master of Social Science) DEGREE IN 1967.
In fall of 1969, Dr. Abashiya was awarded the Fellow of the African Graduate Fellowship Programme, under the auspices of the African – American Institute, to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) degree in Educational Administration at the Ohio University Athens, United States of America.
He was awarded the Ph. D. Degree in Educational Administration, with emphasis in Guidance, Counseling and Student Personnel in June 1971. The degree he obtained in less than two years.
PRIZES WON AND POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY HELD IN SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY
While at the Provincial Secondary School Zaria, Dr. Abashiya won the following prizes:
Bible Knowledge Prize – 1956
1st in One Mile Race Prize – 1956
iii. Second in class Prize – 1956
iv. 1st in Class prize – 1957
v. Best House Captain Prize – 1958
He also held the following positions.
a. House Prefect
b. House Captain
c. Head Boy
d. Secretary Fellowship of Christian Students
At the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, he bagged the following prizes:
a. The best second year student in Government for the 1963/64 academic year.
b. Bruce Great batch Prize for the best graduating student in Public Administration Specialization.
c. Stanley Unwin Prize for the best graduating student in the Faculty of Administration.
d. The Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh Essay Prize for the best all round student in the Faculty of Administration.
He was a member of Student Parliament, during the 1964 section.
While at the Ohio University, U.S.A. he was a one-time President of the African Student Association.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS HELD
a. Commonwealth Scholarship, under the auspices of the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, in the United Kingdom from 1965 to 1966.
b. Fellow of the African Graduate Fellowship Programme, under the auspices of the African – American Institute, in the United State of America from 1969 – 1971.
Dr. Christ Shu’aibu Abashiya began his career as a Primary School Teacher at the then Sudan Interior Mission Primary School, Kagoro in 1969.
Taught English Language at SIM Bible College Kagoro (now ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro), during summer vacation.
After completing his course work at the University of Birmingham, U.K. he returned to his alma mater, Ahmadu Bello University, to take up a teaching appointment, as a lecturer, in the Department of Local Government, in September 1966.
In June, 1967, he was asked by the then Vice-chancellor , late Professor Ishaya Shu’aibu Audu, to start a New Student Affairs Department, as the Student Affair Officer (Dean of Student Affairs), the position he held until December 1973, when he was appointed Director, College of Administrative and Business Studies of the Kaduna Polytechnic.
In October, 1975 Dr. Abashiya was appointed a Civil Commissioner in the Government of the North Central State of Nigeria, which later became Kaduna State.
He moved to Jos in Plateau State, in April, 1978 and held the position for Director, Nigeria Bible Translation Trust, the position he held until his appointment as Acting Registrar, University of Jos, in November 1978.
In August, 1980 Dr. Abashiya was appointed Special Adviser on Higher Education to the first Civilian Governor of Plateau State, the position he held until his retirement in February, 1983.
During his retirement, Dr. Abashiya was, in 1987, appointed the First Director for Social Mobilization (MAMSER) in Kaduna State, by the Federal Military Government, the position he held for nine months and the returned to his retirement.
Apart from his working career, Dr. Abashiya did have other experiences as follows:
a. In October, 1968 he won a Carnegie Corporation Travel Grant which enabled him to visit some Universities in the U.S.A. and Canada.
b. While at Ahmadu Bello University, during the 1972/73 academic year, Dr. Abashiya represented all the Nigerian Universities on the National Sports Commission. It was during the period that he was appointed Leader of Delegation of the Nigerian Table Tennis Team, touring Europe.
c. During his stay with the Kaduna Polytechnic, in May, 1975, he was awarded a British Council Visitorship which gave him the opportunity of visiting and observing the administration of fifteen Polytechnics in the United Kingdom.
PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENTAL AND QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL ASSIGNMENTS
Dr. Abashiya was one of the 49 “Wise” men that drafted the 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in 1976.
He was the Chairman of the Kaduna State Library Board, 1977 to 1978.
He was the Chairman of the High-Power Committee on the Review of Civil Service Rules, Regulations and Procedures of the Plateau State Government in 1979.
Dr. Abashiya was the Chairman of the Interim University Council for the proposed University of the defunct Gongola State, in 1980 (Now Adamawa State).
In 1984 he was appointed a member of the Capital Projects Review committee by the Kaduna State Government.
Dr. Abashiya was the Chairman of the Kaduna State Health Management Board, 1984 to 1987.
He was a member of the Administrative Panel that investigated the causes of the 1987 Religious Riots in Kaduna State.
Dr. Abashiya was in 1987 a member of the Asset Sharing Committee, appointed by the Federal Military Government, to share assets between Kaduna and Katsina States, After Katsina State has been carved out of Kaduna State.
For many years he was a member of the Police/Community Relationships Committee of the Kaduna State Police Command.
In 1994 and 1995 Dr. Abashiya was a delegate to the defunct National Constitutional Conference, organized by the then Federal Military Government.
He was the Chairman of the Committee on the Reorganization of Hospital Administration of Kaduna State in 1999.
Dr. Abashiya was a member of the Advisory Committee on the establishment of Nasarawa State University, constituted by the Government of Nasarawa State in 1999.
He was a member of the Committee on the possibility of introducing the Sharia Law in Kaduna State, constituted by the Government of Kaduna State, in the year 2000.
Dr. Abashiya was a co-chairman of the Leaders of Thought Forum. This body was sponsored by the Government of Kaduna State to discuss ways of bringing peace to Kaduna State, after the “Sharia” crises of February and May, 2000.
He was a member of the Technical Committee on the establishment of Kaduna State University, constituted by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in 2004.
He was a member of the Committee on the establishment of Development Area Administration, in Kaduna State constituted by the Government of Kaduna State, in 2004.
In July, 2004, Dr. Chris Abashiya was appointed Chairman of the Governing Council of the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Kafanchan by the Government of Kaduna State. He completed his tenure in July, 2011.
Dr. Abashiya was a delegate to the National Political Reform Conference, organized by the Federal Government of Nigeria, in 2005. He represented Kaduna State.
He was one of the thirty three (33) member Think-Tank Committee on Education, constituted in July, 2007 by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State.
In September, 2011, he was appointed by the Interim Management Committee of Jaba Local Government Area, as the Chairman of Economic Empowerment and Employment Committee. The Committee was saddled with the responsibility of administering and overseeing the disbursement of funds ear-marked for the boosting of economic and employment opportunities, in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Dr. Abashiya was the Chairman of the Committee to monitor the supply and usage of diesel to Manchok, Kafanchan and Kwoi Water Works of the Kaduna State Water Board. The Committee was set up by the Government of Kaduna State in January, 2012.
He was a member of the Kaduna State University Governing Council. The appointment was made in January, 2012 by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State.
Dr. Abashiya was a member of the Kaduna State Peace and Reconciliation Committee. The Committee was constituted in January, 2012 by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State and given the task of discussing all issues and strategies that would bring about lasting peace and stability in Kaduna State.
He was a member of the Committee on the Distribution of Assistance to Victims of 2011 post-election crisis in Kaduna State. The Committee was constituted by the Kaduna State Government in January, 2012.
PARTICIPATION IN THE AFFAIRS OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS.
Dr. Abashiya contributed his humble quota to the affairs of the following non-governmental organizations.
a. He was a member of the Governing Council of Kent Academy, Miango, Plateau State.
b. He was a one time Chairman of the Chapel Committee of the Chapel of Salvation of the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Kongo, Zaria.
c. He was a one time Chairman of the Chapel Committee of the Chapel of Redemption of the Main Campus of Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru Zaria.
d. He was a one time Chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Nigeria.
e. He was a one time Chairman of the Scholarship Board the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA).
f. He was the Chairman of the Feasibility and Planning Committee of the proposed ECWA University. Incidentally, the institution took off in May, 2006 with the name Bingham University.
g. He was a one time Chairman of the Governing Council of ECWA Jos Theological Seminary.
h. He was a member of the constitution Review Committee of ECWA in 1989.
i. He was a one time National President of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Nigeria.
j. He was the founding Chairman of the Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF).
k. He was a one time President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU).
l. He was a one time Trustee of the Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES).
m. He was a one time Trustee of the Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF).
n. He was a one time Trustee of the Total Life Mission of Nigeria.
o. He was a one time Trustee of the Association of Christian Schools of Nigeria.
p. He was a one time Trustee of the Hope for the Blind Foundation of Nigeria.
q. He was a one time member of the Board of Trustees of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Nigeria.
r. He was a one time Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Nigeria.
s. He was a one time member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Christian Schools in Nigeria.
t. He was a one time Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Association of Christian Schools in Nigeria.
u. He participated in the Building, Founding and/or Development of the Following Churches:
– ECWA Gospel Church Lemu Road, Kaduna, Kaduna State.
– ECWA Plateau Church, Jos, Plateau State.
– ECWA Gospel Church, Kwoi, Kaduna State.
– ECWA Church, Ngarsu/Sabon Gari, Kwoi, Kaduna State.
Because of Dr. Abashiya’s contributions to the socio-economic, religious, and political development of the good people of Nigeria, he received the following awards:
a. An award by General Sani Abacha, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in appreciation of his membership and invaluable contributions to the National Constitutional Conference, as a member of the Business Committee of the Conference, 1994/1995.
b. Award by the Kaduna State Board of Internal Revenue, in recognition of his prompt payment of taxes, as and when due, 2001.
c. On 18th December, 2001, Dr. Abashiya received the National Honour Award of member of the Order of the Federal Republic of (MFR), which was presented to him by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
d. 1st Anniversary Award for his outstanding contributions as a member of the Advisory Committee on the establishment of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, 2002.
e. A Merit Award given by the Northern States Christian Elders Forum, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Christianity in the Northern States of Nigeria.
f. Nigeria Missions Living Pioneers Award, given by the Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA) on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, 25th October, 2007, for being the first Nigerian Director of the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust.
g. Faithfulness Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Students of Nigeria, for being a Trustee of the Fellowship and also in recognition of his faithfulness and selfless service to humanity, the Body of Christ and FCS in particular. The award was made on 13th November 2007.
h. Bingham University Award, for his contribution as the Chairman of the Feasibility and Planning Committee on the University, 1993 to 1996.
i. Prestigious Award by Campaign Works of Nigeria, for his unrelenting and dedicated service to his people.
j. A Certificate of Commendation presented to him by Justice Nike Tobi JSC, Chairman of the National Political Reform Conference, in acknowledgment of his immense contribution to the success of the National Political Reform Conference, that took place in Abuja, from the 21st of February to 24th July, 2005.
k. Special Recognition by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). In the year 2009, he was interviewed for the prestigious programme christened “FOOTPRINTS”. The programme was usually recorded in recognition, by the Nigerian Television Authority, of Nigerians that have registered their footprints of contributions to the development of Nigeria in various areas of human endeavours. The programme was shown, locally, nationally and internationally.
l. Excellence Service Award given to him by the Baptist Theological Seminary, Kaduna Nigeria, in May 2010, in recognition and appreciation of his commitment to the Christian Faith, excellence in his chosen vocation and exemplary service to God and humanity.
m. The Christian Community of Ahmadu Bello University Award, in recognition of his priceless contribution to humanity through selfless service and pioneering service to Ahmadu Bello University, given on 15th June, 2010.
n. Distinguished Service Award, presented by Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, given on Nigerian’s 50th Independence Anniversary (1960-2010), in recognition of his humanitarian, patriotic and meritorious services to Kaduna State and the Nation.
o. Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented to him by the Alhudahuda Old Boys Association (ALOBA), on the occasion of the centenary celebration of Alhudahuda College Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigerian (1910-2010). The Award was given in 2010.
p. Centenary Celebrations Award, given to him by the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Nigeria, on the occasion of the celebrations of God’s faithfulness to the Church in Kwoi and its Environs, from 1910-2010. The Award was given in 2010.
q. Kingdom Service Award presented by Hope Revival International Ministry, Kwoi Kaduna State, on the occasion of its 10th Anniversary, 17th March 2012.
r. Guardian of Children Award, Presented by Jaba Children Climate Change Club and Wash Teams (JACCC WASH) for being a distinguished Elder Statesman, Champion of Grassroots Educational Development and efforts in realizing the well-being of children at the community level. Presented on 5th June, 2012, World Environmental Day.
s. Meritorious Award, presented, in recognition of Excellent Track Record and Exemplary conduct in University Administration and Service to Humanity, by the Association of Nigerian University Professional Administrators University of Jos Chapter on 28th September, 2012.
t. Award by ECWA Seminary Staff School, Kagoro, Kaduna State, for immense contributions, support of the church, 29th September 2012.
u. An Award presented to him by the Chapel of Redemption of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in recognition of his Meritorious Services as Trustee of the Chapel of Redemption. The award was made on 25th November, 2012, during the 5th Anniversary of the Chapel and the University.
v. The Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES) conferred on him the title of “NIFES AMBERSSADOR” because of his being an outstanding Personality. The Award was made in Abuja on 2nd November 2013.
w. The Student Union Representative Council of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria conferred on him the title of “Ocean of Knowledge”, because of his Educational Achievements, especially being one of the only three graduating students that obtained 1st Class Honours Degree, during the graduation of 1st set of students in 1965. The award was made in Zaria on 11th January, 2014.
x. An award by the University of Jos in recognition of his Meritorious Service to the University as Acting Registrar (1978-1980). The award was made on 22nd September, 2015.
y. Award of Excellence, for Service to Humanity and the College of Business and Management Studies, Kaduna Polytechnic presented to me, by the Director College of Business and Management Studies, of the Kaduna Polytechnic, on 16th December, 2016.
While on planet earth Dr. Chris Shu’aibu Abashiya was privileged to visit the following countries of the world.
1. The United Kingdom
11. United Arab Emirates
12. United States of America
13. South Africa
15. Republic of Benin
18. Sierra Leone
20. Ivory Coast
Throughout most of his sojourn on planet earth, Dr. Abashiya was a very keen student of Religion and Religious Apologetics. This culuminated in him being the author and co-author of the following books respectively.
a. Tongues To Speak or Not To Speak
b. Christianity And Islam: A Plea for Understanding and Tolerance.
Dr. Chris Shu’aibu Abashiya got married to former Miss Mary Ibrahim Dabiring of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, on 21st of August, 1965. The marriage was blessed with four children, two of whom have died, while two are alive.
Those alive are:
a. Barrister G. Jummai Abashiya
b. Barrister S. Danjuma Abashiya
He is also survived by his wife Mrs. Mary Abashiya, a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Sarah Abashiya and four grand children, namely:
a. Miss Zubaida Khalid
b. Master Chris Nathaniel Abashiya Jr.
c. Master Williams Shu’aibu Abashiya Jr.
d. Miss Whitney L. S. Abashiya
Dr. Abashiya slept in the Lord on 28th May, 2017
Having lived on planet earth for 78 years