By Adesina Wahab
He was the cynosure of all eyes during the recent graduation ceremony of the Kaduna State University, KASU, where he won a lot of prizes, but he had one big regret on that day, as he wished his father was alive to witness and savour the joy of the day with him.
Ededa Emmanuel Matthew, 23, from Benue State, graduated from the Department of Microbiology with the CGPA of 4.97 to to top the honours list.
Recalling how the journey to academic stardom started in a phone chat with Vanguard, he commended the great inspirational role played by his late father who died in 2007 following a brief illness.
Emmanuel was a primary five pupil when his father passed on and he is full of praise for his mother who rose to the occasion to give him university education.
“The last conversation I had with my dad was one of those triggers, what I consider today to be the most potent force that brought about the greatest turn of event in my academic life. Few days before he departed, while he was preparing to travel to his place of work, I took my result to him, not knowing, that would be the last conversation I would have with him.
“When I showed him my result (5th position in a class of 32 students), he was not so impressed, evident from his facial expression. However, he responded finally: “You are performing far below expectation. If only you would give closer attention to your academics, I am confident you won’t have trouble hitting the highest grade.
“His last statement to me was a trigger, it propelled me into doing things I had never done before. Then, as a primary school boy, I would spend the night studying, burning lamp wicks and candles to keep the room lit. Shortly, I discovered I was gaining strength in my areas of weakness, gradually, I crawled from the least to the highest position in my academics.
“When I got to the university, I knew I needed to do more work and adopt appropriate principles, as the gap between failure and success was getting the right academic principles and putting them to work. I was able to gather the following basic principles from the teachings of Dr. David Oyedepo to be the foundation from whence I built my academic career: Vision, discipline, sacrifice, maximizing opportunities and putting God first,” he said.