Is ABU the Only University in Nigeria?

By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

I would like to state from the onset that I am neither writing to defend ABU nor to back those noisemakers. I am just writing to contribute to the topic of discussion by saying the truth I know.

Recently, in 2019, somebody posted a story which circulated on social media. The story said that ABU denied admission to one character because of her religion. Perhaps those people don’t know how ABU admission criteria work.

Fortunately or unfortunately, ABU is one of the top universities in Nigeria, if not the only one that admits many students (more than ten thousand students) from various part of Nigeria and abroad. In 2019 alone, more than 13,000 students were admitted out of over 40,000 applicants. For this, JAMB presented an award to ABU in 2019.

The reason one would think that those people don’t even know the ABU they are talking about is that they said her religion was the reason she was not given admission. I challenge that same person and every other person who agreed with the story to go to ABU and see if there are no non-Muslim students, with his own eyes.

In case those people making noise don’t know, ABU is nicknamed as mini Nigeria. At times, while moving in ABU, one may think he is not in the north. There is one lecturer who said that if you can live in ABU, you can live in everywhere in Nigeria.

Let them go to ABU first and confirm when this year’s registration process commences and see if there are no people from other religions before they will, even if they have to make noise. It is so simple. One needs not to share the untrue story.

Let’s assume what they said about ABU is true. Is ABU the only university in Nigeria? Are there no other universities in Nigeria? Why not others? Why always ABU? Is ABU the only university that doesn’t give admission to all applicants in Nigeria? Or do you think they don’t have their reasons?

I know people who applied ABU and they couldn’t secure admission and they are Muslims. In addition, they had all the requirements. Like that some secured other alternatives instead of noise making. Some had to forget about that year. Yet they didn’t go to social media and make noise. Not because they didn’t have teachers to post on their social media handles.

Apart from them, there are also others who got admission but it was not their desired course of study. So they dumped it and looked for other ways. Some, to private universities; some waited for next year and changed institution. But did they make noise? Were they not having teachers, relatives, friends to take it to social media and make it goes viral?

I don’t say that losing admission is not painful. It is. In this case, the person who got a course he didn’t desire is better than the one who didn’t even get. It is not only in ABU that people lose the admission. And it is not only in ABU that applicants don’t get their desired course. In several other universities, JAMBITES apply and apply till when they get admitted.

I don’t think that those people making noise don’t know those other universities too don’t give admission to all applicants. Because, during most matriculation ceremonies, the number of applicants, as well as the numbers of those admitted, are revealed.

If one really wants ABU, though it is not the only university in Nigeria, then he or she should continue to apply like that Abusite who claimed to have applied three times before securing admission.  That’s all. You don’t need to come and be making noise unnecessarily.

Finally, their said character was even lucky to be offered with admission in another course. And yet they are making noise. What should have happened to those that could not get at all despite having full requirements? Still, she was lucky to be offered with a scholarship to another university. That’s all because ABU is not the only university in Nigeria. There are so many Nigerians who didn’t attend ABU and they are doing well. The choice now left to them.

Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim is of the Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He can be reached via


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