By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
The mission statement of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State centres around the production of a new generation of leaders through a qualitative and life-applicable training system that focuses on values and skills development.

Thus, the graduates of the university are prepared to be socially, politically, economically and technologically relevant in building a strong and virile nation.

The students of the institution who graduated on Friday last week, especially those who made the prestigious First Class Honours, appeared to have internalised this core value as they expressed strong determination to tap to the fullest the vast opportunities that abound both in Nigeria and abroad.

In fact, the 95 students of the university who bagged First Class Honours began to experience the special advantages and recognition which their class of degree could fetch for them at the convocation ceremony which held within the precinct of the Faith Tabernacle.

Apart from the fact that all of these egg-heads sat at the front rows, they also had the rare privilege shaking hands with both the institution’s Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan.

Twenty-three year old Ologun Olakunle who had First Class in Electrical/Electronics after scoring Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.65, intends to do his Master’s and Doctoral programmes in the United States of America or Britain immediately he completes the one-year mandatory NYSC, adding that he will apply to the best universities in these countries when he begins the service scheme.

He says: “I intend to pursue my postgraduate studies in Information and Communication Technology immediately after my service yar. Although, Covenant University offers this course at the PG level, but I really want to change my environment. Better facilities are available in overseas universities and that will expose me to vast knowledge.”

Throughout his undergraduate years at the university, Olakunle knew no other thing apart from hardwork, focus and diligent reading. On each day, from Monday to Friday, after lectures classes, he used to do serious reading for three hours while he burnt the proverbial candle for six hours on Saturdays and Sundays for the five years that the degree programme lasted.

On what motivated him to work towards making First Class, Olakunle said that his 55 year old father, Dr. Joseph Olakunle who is the Chief Executive of Mutual Alliance, a stockbroking firm and his mother, Omolara, a primary school teacher in Ogun State told him before he enrolled at Covenant University to go all out for the top grade.

He added that he didn’t know what making 1st class entailed but that he took up the challenge when the “prestige and glory”of the degree dawned on him.
Miss Anna Egbagbe, 23, studied Psychology and graduated last Friday with 1st Class Honours.

After her NYSC, she will do the mandatory one year working experience qualify her for the MBA programme which she intends to undertake at Harvard Business School i the United States or the London Business School.

Her words: “I intend to go to either of these institutions because they are top business schools in the world. At these institutions I will be exposed to international environment that will prepare me to contribute meaningfully to the development of Nigeria. Actually, I’m going for MBA because I have interest in real estate as my father, Dr. Joseph Egbagbe is into building and construction/real estate.\

On her experience while studying for the undergraduate programme, Egbagbe said she put in extra hours of hardwork, adding that graduating with First Class is not too difficult for her because her course was very interesting to her.

“It is all about discipline and hardwork. First Class is not as difficult as many people think. But the university instills the spirit of excellence in me and my parents also encouraged me. So I decided to make 1st Class in order to make them proud,” she says.

Nanfa Pannap, 21, from Plateau State, has First Class degree in Economics, with a GPA of 4.50.

The son of General I.D. Pennap of Army Headquarters in Abuja, and Mrs. Grace Pennap who teaches Microbiology at Nasarawa State University, Nanfa intends to study International Finance at the master’s level in a North America University, with the ultimate aim of working with the World Bank.

He said he is poised to confront any challenge as his first class degree was earned through hardwork helped by “academic staff who motivated a lot.”

Twenty-two-year-old Babatunde Oluwatobi, who graduated with 1st Class with GPA of 4.75 in Information and Communication Technology, intends to work for a Telecoms company immediately after his NYSC. He has entered for the CISCO-certified International Network examination which will add more value to his degree certificate.

Babatunde says: “I will soon write the CUISCO – Certified International Network examination, which is the highest CISCO – certified exam. Only 14 people in Nigeria have so far been certified and I will be he 15th to be certified.

Miss Faith Olotu clinched 1st Class honours in Economics and plans to do her Masters’s programme at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States of America.

As these students go about the pursuit of their ambition, the words of advice by Dr. David Oyedepo at the 5th graduation ceremony are expected to be their guiding principle.

The Chancellor said: “As I often said, life without a dream is doomed, every great destiny has its roots in a dream. It is a dream seed that engenders a great destiny, dreamers rule the world, and dreamers shape the history of nations.”

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