As a young man he studied at the Government Secondary School, Tamale from 1960-67 for his Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates. He proceeded to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi from 1967-71 where he obtained the BSc degree in Building Technology.
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As Vice President, he officially launched a strategic plan to campaign vigorously against indiscipline to eliminate unruliness from all spheres of the society at the time.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama’s conviction was that Ghana could on only achieve socio-economic progress if Ghanaians, particularly the youth adopt positive attitudes and behavior.
"We need your support to wage a total war on indiscipline at workplaces, on the roads, in schools and, indeed, in all spheres of life," he is quoted as saying during his official launch of his indiscipline campaign which attracted several commendations from the public.
The launch, according to a GNA report, took place in his private residence in Accra on May 2002.
As an Islamic Scholar, Aliu religiously heeded to the portions of the Quran that encouraged well-to-do Muslims to offer alms to the poor and needy in society by providing shelter for a number of people.
He was also actively involved in promoting education in Muslim communities across the Country.