By Oluwadamilare O. Ojo
The University of Ibadan (UI) has always been my dream university. Despite the fierce competition, I was doggedly determined to get myself admitted to study Medicine and Surgery by all means humanly and legally possible. I wrote the Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME) which qualified me for the UI Post-UTME.
Few days later after we had written the Post-UTME, the results came out. I was having a technical hitch while checking my result, perhaps due to traffic congestion on their website. I then decided to wait till the following day to check it again. I believed by that time, the normalcy would have been restored.
Later that same day before the dark, I was walking down a street. I can never forget that street. For those that may be familiar with Oyo town, it is the street beside Tobacco that enters Araromi area. Just few minutes after I entered that street from Tobacco Junction, something unprecedented happened. A call from an unidentified phone number entered my phone. The caller introduced and identified himself. He is one of the Professors from UI.
He (Prof.) asked if I was aware that the Post-UMTE results were out. I replied, “Yes, sir, I am aware.” He further asked if I had checked my own result. “No, sir, I haven’t,” I humbly responded. “Why? Are you not interested in coming to UI again?” Prof. raised his concern. “Ah! I am very much interested, sir,” I retorted. I then explained the reason to him.
Boom! Prof. broke the good news to me. Guess what? I was one of the Overall Best Six Candidates in the 2014/2015 UI Post-UTME. One candidate scored 90% while the rest of us scored 88%. The university management under the able leadership of Prof. Isaac F. Adewole (Former Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria) consequently decided to placed us on scholarship throughout our stay in the university. It had never happened in the history of UI. We were the pioneers of that historic scholarship.
No sooner had we resumed the 100 level than Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka assumed the Vice Chancellorship of UI. We scholars then became unsure and disturbed on whether our scholarships would be sustained or terminated since it was subjected to renewal every academic session upon maintaining academic excellence. To our chagrin, our renewal applications in 200 level were speedily approved by Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka which made us to have an unrestricted access to the benefits attached to the scholarship scheme.
Had Prof. Olayinka discontinued the scholarships, I would have been terribly affected financially, which even might have had a significant negative impact on my academic performances. This highly commendable continuity of my scholarship had really ameliorated my financial difficulties and living conditions on campus.
Sir, I can’t thank you enough for magnanimously allowing me enjoy the scholarship under your remarkable administration blessed with novel, monumental achievements. I am using this medium to say a hearty congratulations to you on the successful completion of your 5-year tenure as the Vice-Chancellor, leaving UI as #1 in Nigeria and West Africa, #7 in Africa, and top 500 in the world! I celebrate your cerebral leadership. I heartily wish you the very best in your future endeavours.
Oluwadamilare O. Oj, is a UI Post-UTME Scholar.
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