When Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan graduated from the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) in 1984 with a B.Sc in Geography, his apparent career was as an academic.
The career was probably foisted on him as Ahmad was a beneficiary of the legacy of Professor Jubril Aminu who, as the Vice-Chancellor of UNIMAID, offered graduates with first-class or second class upper degrees appointment at the university as graduate assistants. For the next decade, Lawan’s sojourn was within the academic community of UNIMAID.
In 1990, he went to the Cranfield University in the United Kingdom for his master’s and doctoral programmes in Remote Sensing and GIS on a European Union scholarship. He returned to Nigeria in 1996 to resume his teaching career at UNIMAID.
Politics did not appear as a prospect in those early days as he focused on being a scientist and an academic.
“When I completed my studies and returned, I had little idea that I would join politics. Until a year after I returned, then something happened,” Lawan recalled.
“I will not like to describe myself as an accidental politician. But maybe a reluctant one because I never imagined that I will be able to survive in the kind of political environment that we have in Nigeria. But when God is with you, nothing is impossible.”
As destiny will have it, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan is today the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That is the reason he has been described as a hybrid of an academic and a politician.