By Daniel Ayantoye
Sorrow and pains were the expression on the faces of parents, relatives and sympathisers who gathered en mass at the Oloriegbe compound, Amilengbe area of Ilorin where a special prayer was held for a graduate of University of Ilorin, Taofeeqat Oloriegbe, who died five days to her convocation.
Taofeeqah who graduated with a Second Class Upper from the department of Electrical Engineering, was said to have breathed her last on Monday and had since been buried in Ilorin, her hometown according to Islamic rites.
The deceased is the first child of her parent, with four siblings.
Speaking with National Pilot on the last moments of his daughter, who was said to have been sighted by friends on campus last Friday, the father, Alhaji Shuaib Oloriegbe, described the incident as shocking and a great loss to the family.
“I will miss her greatly because she was very close to me. She just complained that her hand was paining her and was taken to Aromaradu Hospital. It was not the first time she would experience such pain. Usually if it happens to her even on campus they will just pour water on the hand and she would be relieved but this last one was different. She was taken to the hospital on Saturday and on Monday, she died.
“She learnt fashion design in less than three months and was so good at it. She even went to school with her machine and made her convocation dress herself.
“My daughter is an intelligent girl and a blessing to our family. From her primary school till her demise, she scored excellent grades which earned her scholarship from telecommunication company, MTN,” he bemoaned.
According to the bereaved, Taofeeqat was never a sickle cell patient as reported but had been battling rheumatism for some time.
Similarly, the mother, Alhaja Rasheedat Oloriegbe said, “All I can say is that we accept our fate because God gave her to us. This is the little time Allah said she would spend with us. My daughter was a good girl. She does not joke with her academics and religion.”
In the same vein, Taofeeqat’s foster mother, Alhaja Ramat Oloriegbe said, “She was preparing for her convocation, waiting to also pay her alumni fee. She has a strong desire to practice her profession and has been looking forward to the convocation day. I will miss everything about her.”
Similarly her Arabic tutor, Yissa Oloriegbe disclosed that Taofeeqat excelled during her Quranic training and was the first to complete her study ahead of 59 others.
“She was a role model to her colleagues because of her brilliance and good behaviour. Taofeeqat was ahead of others but was the humble type.”
For Mutiat Agaka who wept profusely, Taofeeqat was more than a friend but a sister and confidant. “We lived together for 6 years in the boarding house during our secondary school days. She is friendly and jovial. We looked out for each other always,”she said.
Also, the Acting Head of Department, Electrical Electronics, University of Ilorin, Engr. (Mrs) Nazmat Surajudeen-Bakinde said, “She was one of our very good students and was close to almost all lecturers.
“She was in the department on Thursday before we later learnt of her death and I was really close to her as she held the post of President of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) Unilorin chapter. She was jovial but very hard working and active.
“Although she was not the best graduating student as being reported, we have four students that made First Class and will be graduating on Saturday and she is not one of them but Taofeeqat had a high CGP of 4.32.
“She was one of those people who won MTN scholarship before now and the telecommunication giant recently requested for her latest result for another payment to be made to her and other beneficiaries.”