Alkasum Abba was born on 20th May 1953 at Yola, Adamawa State. He attended his primary and secondary schools at Yola, 1961-1972, and was a pioneering student of Federal Government College Kano in 1973 where he undertook his A levels. He was admitted into Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1974 and graduated in 1977 with a combined Honour’s degree in History and Government. On completing his national service, he was employed, in 1978 at the Department of History, ABU, where he obtained both his Masters and PhD degrees. In the course of his fieldwork for the PhD, he obtained a one year British Council scholarship based at the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS, University of London, as a non-degree research student, in 1989-1990. During this period, he visited several libraries in London and Oxford including the British Newspaper Library, at Colindale and spent nearly six months at The Archives, Kew Garden, London, formerly called Public Records Office. He also crisscrossed the UK looking for and interviewing former British colonial officers, who worked in Northern Nigeria. He wrote his PhD on the radical Northern Elements Progressive Union, NEPU.
Alkasum Abba had served as Political Secretary in 1998-1999 to Alhaji M.D. Yusufu when he was campaigning for the President of Nigeria against General Sani Abacha. From 2007-2014 he was the Vice-Chancellor, Adamawa State University, Mubi and thereafter moved back to ABU, Zaria, where he is a professor of History. He was a founding Trustee of CEDDERT and the head of its Administration and Library Services. Alkasum has published several scholarly books, journal articles and numerous newspaper articles. He was a member of the editorial board of The Analyst magazine and editor-in-chief of the Analysis magazine. He is a widely travelled person; he visited 26 countries in Africa, Middle East, Asia, Western Europe, North and South America. He has, recently been appointed by the Federal Government as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Agriculture, Makurdi.