34th Convocation: My mother died giving birth to me – Unilorin best graduating student


By Adebayo Olodan

One of the most cherished moments by parents is to witness the graduation ceremony of their children but for one Mrs Akinremi, she died at the hospital on the day she gave birth to her fourth child, Abdulkadri Idowu, sometimes in 1982.

Fast forward Tuesday October 23, 2018, Abdulkadri Idowu Akinremi emerged the best graduating student out of 12, 108 graduands during the 34th convocation ceremony of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin).

Speaking with our reporter after collecting his prize, Abdulkadri, who hails from Ado-Odo, Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State said, he was raised by his elder sister, Kehinde following the passing of his mother.

According to him, Abdulkadri, who is the last and fourth child of a family of six, after leaving secondary school in 2008, he wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) thrice without success.

“Right from my secondary school, I wanted to study medicine unfortunately for three years, I wrote UTME choosing Medicine and Surgery at University of Lagos without success. I was frustrated and I fasted for several days but my sister, Kehinde kept encouraging me never to give up.

“My sister kept telling me that I will make it in life. One day, my elder brother Taiwo asked me to visit him at Ikorodu and on getting there, he handed me a UTME slip telling me to go and sit for the examination the following day. I replied that I was not prepared for any examination but he said I should just go out there and do my best.”

Speaking further, the 26-year-old said he passed the exam and was eventually admitted into Lagos State Polytechnic, where he studied Food Technology and bagged a National Diploma as the best student in his department and faculty in 2013.

Abdulkadri said despite getting employment offers, he decided to continue with his education career by securing admission to 200 Level at Unilorin through direct entry.

“Ever since I became a student of the University of Ilorin, I have never looked back and in my last two sessions, I ensured that I maintained a CGPA of 5:00.

“My emergence as the best graduating today was not accomplished overnight, I worked so hard for it from my first day on campus,” the Food Science graduate said.

He however appreciated the head of his department and his lecturers for the knowledge impacted on him and their advice.

…Buhari tasks varsities on research

By Bukola Adama

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to all tertiary institutions in the country to give greater attention to research and development.

Speaking at the 34th convocation ceremony of the University of Ilorin, on Tuesday, Buhari urged universities to come up with research on contemporary issues and challenges especially in the area of health and agriculture.

Represented by the Director, Quality Assurance, National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr Noel Salihu, the President said, “In today’s dynamic world, no nation achieves greatness without contributing to human development through innovative research “.

He further advised Nigerian academics to shift focus of their research endeavours from mere quest for the enhancement of their career by adding value to the nation’s economy and citizens’ well-being.

He assured the institution of Federal Government’s support through its relevant ministries and agencies that had been positioned and empowered to provide all they might need to achieve the national mandate.

President Buhari also challenged the NUC and other educational regulatory bodies in the country to critically re-examine the content of the curricula of high education in Nigeria.

He also charged the regulatory bodies to seriously dissect the school curricula to ensure the navigation of the nation away from the ocean of unemployment.

President Buhari who assured all and sundry that his government would continue to provide enabling environment for job creation, advised the regulatory bodies to step up their games to seriously dissect school curricula.

He also advised graduands to see every challenge they might encounter as they marched on in life, as a stepping stone to success.

In his address, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed applauded Unilorin for its stable academic calendar over the last two decades, despite noticeable challenges.

Speaking further, he said, “Mr. Vice Chancellor, the good people and Government of Kwara State expect more from this great University”.

Governor Ahmed also admonished the institution to focus its research on tackling the economic and technological challenges facing the state while at the same time expanding the frontiers of knowledge.

He also urged the university to utilise its large arable land, which is one of the largest in the country and expertise for agribusiness and research, adding that the state government recently provided solar powered light from the institution’s gate to Tanke junction in order to ensure the safety of students and staff of the institution.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem, advised the graduates to utilise their acquired skills to overcome challenges of unemployment.

He warned the graduates to beware of social vices, such as banditry, forgery, impersonation, hooliganism, prostitution and armed robbery among others.

The VC noted that 103 graduates made First Class out of 12, 108, while 2, 553 graduates made Second Class Upper, 5, 750 made Second Class Lower and 1, 660 made Third Class and 36 pass.

Also speaking at the Convocation Ceremony, Dr Jubril Oyekan, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin said Unilorin is among the most sought after University in Nigeria.

This, he explained was because of their recorded success and the uninterrupted academic session for the past 17 years.

In his lecture titled: “Education for peace, Democracy and Development”,  former United Nations General Secretary, Prof Ibrahim Agboola Gambari called for the introduction of Peace Education into the curricular at all levels of education in the country.

The former envoy called for political education to teach people on how to exercise their electoral rights.

Gambari, who is now the Chancellor of the Kwara State University, described education as pre-requisite for success and the engine that would drive peace and development of the country.

He emphasised that there could not be development if there is no peace, stressing the need to respect the dignity of human life and democratic freedom of Nigerians.

Speaking on the 2019 election, the scholar urged the FG to allow the electoral umpire to conduct free and fair elections.

Gambari therefore charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to build on the achievements of 2015 general elections.

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