It was a charged atmosphere at the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, last Sunday as the institution marked its 11th convocation where 1,359 students were awarded first degrees. Twenty got postgraduate diplomas, 71 obtained Master’s degrees in various disciplines while 41 got PhD degrees in various disciplines.
The hero of the day was a 20-year- old lady, Omobola Oduyoye, who emerged as the best graduating student, after scoring a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.92, out of a possible 5.0.
Oduyoye, an indigene of Ilisan-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area of the state who was awarded a first class Degree in Public Health said after receiving the Senior Vice-President’s Prize as the graduate with the highest overall CGPA, that commitment, discipline, hard work and focus-combined with what she called God’s grace – fetched her the award.
In her words, “Motivation from my parents, lecturers and course mates also helped me. Healthy competition from my course mates such as Akomolafe Damilola, who also obtained a CGPA of 4.60, also enhanced my performance.
“I have a lot of respect for her because she is a mature married woman and a nurse. In spite of her age, she related well with us and she was very focused. Each time I looked at her, I felt like I should ask government to stop admitting fresh secondary school leavers straight into the university. They should be asked to do the A/Level or ordinary diploma programme before they enrol at the university.”
Oduyoye, who aspires to become the nation’s health minister some day, noted that she would change the face of the nation’s health sector, particularly child and maternal health if given the chance.
The fresh graduate said, “I’m from this town. I only lived the first six years of my life in Ghana and since then I’ve been here and I see a lot of challenges poor women and children go through daily. I want to make health delivery accessible, affordable and extremely cheap for our children and women. I will fight corruption in the health sector and ensure that our children and their mother don’t die again from preventable diseases.”
She noted that each time she goes on a field work with her
colleagues, she always ensures that children and young mothers were her target because that’s where her passion lies.
“Though I don’t have money to give them, I always organise seminar and workshop to train them on hygiene, oral health and how to handle preventable diseases. We at times give them off-the-counter drugs. But if God permits and I become the Health Minister, I’ll work hard to ensure better health service delivery for Nigerians,” she added.
Speaking on how she handles pressure from opposite sex, Oduyoye, who is also an alumni of the university’s primary and high schools said, though she had so many male friends, she avoided getting intimate with them.
“I have a number of friends – including male students but I always draw a line between friendship for academic advancement and immoral relationship.
I’m not abusive; neither am I a snub. But I don’t encourage any relationship that will distract me from my studies. I don’t encourage any action that can suggest to you that I’m a cheap
commodity. I also ensure that I don’t go alone anywhere or follow anybody to dark corners even if she is a girl like me.
“It may sound funny to you, I have never kissed anyone in my life and I have not been kissed by anybody. I thank God for the grace He gives me to achieve this because I know that some people will
say it is not easy, but with God all things are possible,” the 20-year-old fresh graduate added.
Oduyoye advised young girls to abstain from sex, face their studies and respect people and honour God. The lady, whose father is also a lecturer in the Business Administration Department at Babcock, had few words for management of the institution.
She stated, “They should relax the rules. Specifically, I don’t see any reason why a female student should not keep long hairs. Do you know it is so bad that security men on campus can stop a student and cut off her hair? This is not good. After all, undergraduates are no longer in the secondary school.”
She also urged the institution to sustain its dress code, though she wants students to be forced into engaging in physical activities. This, she said, is
based on the result of a research she did in her final year.
“I did a project on the effect of physical inactivity among Babcock University students and my findings revealed that many of us were not physically active and this has implication for our academics, health and general wellbeing. The university should therefore invest more in sports and possibly compel everybody to participate in sports.
“They should also reduce the sale of fatty foods such as hamburger, doughnut, eggroll and meat-pie on
campus. The scriptural and inspirational write ups on billboards in open spaces on campus are good but they should add educational health tips too,” she noted.
Hmmm, Good for her!