•Timilehin: How I made First Class at FUTA after failing woefully at OAU

The Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, recently held its convocation ceremonies during which thousands of students savored the joy of completing their programmes and bagging degrees in different fields.

However, among the graduands, the occasion was special for two of them because it was like coming back from the dead to finish their programmes and finally becoming university graduates. ADESINA WAHAB writes.

When the spirit is indomitable

At one point or the other, a lot of people would have heard the saying “winners never quit and quitters never win.”

Some people would have said it on some occasions too, but how many people can still hold on when the odds are more than great?

But in the case of Omoerijesu Temilade and Timilehin Abayomi, they are examples of “I can do it no matter what.”

Let us begin with Omoerijesu

After securing admission to the prestigious university in 2007 to read Biology, everything went on smoothly until she became a final year student in 2012, when something terrible happened – she was involved in a serious road accident that left her wheelchair bound.

The accident changed the course of her life. A bubbling young lady now confined to the wheelchair, and the hope of becoming a university graduate slipping away.

Undaunted, after a break of seven years from her studies, the urge to go back to school and finish what she started became very strong. In 2019, Omoerijesu applied to the authorities of FUTA for the reactivation of her studentship and, graciously, the Senate of the university, under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, approved the request. She resumed and successfully concluded her programme. And wow, on Friday, November 26, 2021, 14 years after she enrolled for the programmme, she bagged a degree in Biology.

Exuding great joy, she said, “Thank you Jesus for completing this testament, first degree bagged after 14 years and it is not complete without mentioning my alma mater, a reputable institution called the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

“I celebrate you today and always as I celebrate God in my life and all my heroes.

“I had the opportunity to complete my first degree after nine years due to a massive break following the road traffic accident I had during my final year in 2012, and FUTA came to terms with my vision of completing what I started with my reputable institution as I requested for the reactivation of my studentship.

“Even though there are changes physically, my institution, with great minds of great academia, agreed at a meeting point with my prestigious department and my dreams of completing my first degree was actualized as no stone was left unturned.

“Classes attended, assignments done, tests and exams taken, seminars presented, project done and defended with God Almighty showing mercy.

“Though COVID-19 lockdown set in after gathering momentum for the studies again and the phase passed away and 2021 came, the time of the realisation of the vision that was almost shattered but mercy said ‘NO’.

“Together we can make a difference and make the world a better place to live in.

“Never permit your challenges to hinder you from achieving your good goals.

“Though the journey was a bit rough, I always focused on that light at the end of the tunnel.

“Movements here and there at times could be strenuous but the joy of seeing my dream becoming a reality conquered those.

“I appreciate my beloved parents, wonderful siblings, families and friends that I shared this vision with and they gave their support.

“Happy 40th anniversary, Great FUTA, and happy convocation to me.

“I appreciate every expression of love shown by Class12 and Class 20 and every student and staff that gave their hands and legs of assistance running errands for me and hands to lift.

I appreciate you all.

“Thank you for all of those welcoming smiles and I can’t forget the memorable reception I got from my department on resuming back to school and FUTA community as a whole.

“You are all my heroes. It’s a reality today and I am glad you are here to see and celebrate with me. Forward ever, backward never.

“I appreciate this wonderful community for your hospitality and showers of love and I appreciate every staff of my department. Biology Department, for your love and I cannot but appreciate FUTA ASUU for every of your contribution towards me.

“For everyone that took steps to stop by and give their prayers and words of encouragement, I say a big thank you.

“To all praying and interceding for me, God bless you exceedingly and to all who are contributing financially, God shall replenish you.

“For all of the moral support I got, you are blessed. “Thank you my husband, you are lifted up forever. “Long life FUTA! Long life Biology Department! Long life to me!

Long life to all my loved ones and well wishers!

“Turn your back to human write-offs and look up to God’s wonderful write-ups for your life

“No matter the challenges, never give up.

“Keep faith alive in the Lord and keep moving forward.”

Timilehin: Failing first before resounding success

For Timilehin, he had to fail first before becoming a resounding success. But the lessons to become a success, he learnt the hard way. In 2008, he became an undergraduate at Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun State. He literally wobbled and fumbled to get to the final year, as his academic performance was nothing to write home about. Eventually, in 2014, his cup was full and the university sent him packing as a result of poor academic performance. Where and how will he start again? In such a difficult situation, only few people can be of help, and one of such people in his life was his mother who stood by him. Behold, the failure of 2014 graduated with a First Class in 2021.

Inspiring story

“My mother and I held ourselves in late 2014, weeping uncontrollably after learning that I had failed in OAU after being accepted to the citadel in 2008.

“My studentship was withdrawn in my final semester, five years later, for reasons I completely accept responsibility for.

“My family and I went through tough moments, one suicide attempt, exile from home and a family meeting to decide what to do next.

“I remember insisting on returning to university, and it was to FUTA in 2015.

“Fast forward to Friday November 26, 2021, I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Quantity Surveying with First Class Honours from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, and placed in the top 5% of the university’s graduating class. “Between these years, I have gone through extensive refinement, learned various lessons and grown as a person. “Excellence, diligence and tenacity, in particular, have become my watchwords.

“With these guidelines in mind, I co-founded in FUTA a news organization that helped the institution reintroduce campus media.

“I won the prize for the most distinguished first-time member of the House while representing my department at the Students’ Representatives Council (SRC).

“I represented the university and competed against peers in national debate, entrepreneurship and construction competitions.

“As I move forward in life, I am determined to uphold the three values of excellence, diligence and tenacity, in the hope that they would help me achieve my ultimate objective of realizing the possibilities of media and communication in the construction industry.

“Construction Cost Data Management, Construction Economics and Project Management are three areas in which I am very interested in gaining professional/academic expertise.

“As I’ve always maintained, this isn’t the best way to get a degree; nevertheless, tell anyone who has failed that ‘failure is not final, no matter how fatal, for he who falls shall rise again.’

“I owe this eventual success to God, who gave me a second chance; to my dear mother, who never gave up; family, who believed in me again; and friends, who were always there.

“My deepest appreciation to three of my friends who encouraged and supported me through this phase – Adesida Thompson, Anjolaolorun Alabi and Opeyemi Fawole

“This story is that of a failure who never gave up; a story of strength and courage. If you come across this, pray that God grants me speed for the years I have lost.”

No doubt, Omoerijesu and Timilehin have shown that as far as your dream is concerned, if you feel you can, yes, you can.

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