Behold: The Story of UNAAB’s 2009/2010 Overall Best Student

Mr. Lawal Akinyanju sharing the experience of his tortuous
journey to academic excellence

The University’s combined 18th and 19th Convocation Ceremonies held penultimate Saturday, witnessed an emotional twist when the Overall Best Graduating Student for the 2009/2010 Academic Session, Mr. Lawal Akinyanju Raman, gave a narrative of how he fought academic tardiness and poverty, to emerge a genius.
Dignitaries and guests, including the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa’i, listened with rapt attention to Lawal’s ordeal of a turbulent academic journey, delivered in an emotional laden voice, as he presented his Valedictory Speech.
Lawal recounted how he failed thrice to gain admission into the University due to either poor performance or financial constraint.
According to him, poor performance at the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Examinations prevented him from gaining admission into Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho (LAUTECH) while financial constraint hindered him from accepting an offer into Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye (OOU) and the Lagos State University (LASU), successively.
As if those were not enough, Lawal who graduated from the Department of Animal Production and Health, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), with a CGPA of 4.78, said his father had to sell the roofing sheets meant for his building project, to pay his school fee, when UNAAB eventually offered him admission for its Pre-degree programme.
Lawal further revealed that his father resorted to selling his vehicle to pay his fee when he was admitted into the 100 Level to study Animal Production and Health.
Far back into his Secondary School days, Lawal disclosed that he could not read English textbooks until he got to JSS2 where he was the ‘chairman of back-benchers’ in his class, for being a dullard.

Lawal stressed that the situation became worrisome, such that he emerged 56th out of 58 students during a JSS1 examination. He said out of sympathy, he was promoted to JSS3 on trial, while he wrote Junior WAEC twice and repeated, culminating in his repeating JSS3.
However, Lawal said his turning point came, when he resolved to reverse his academic ordeal while repeating JSS3, as he emerged 10th position (1st Term), 6th position (2nd Term) and 5th position (3rd Term).
Since that time, the First Class Graduate said he has since been leading his class, winning laurels and honoured with prefect-ship, until the ‘icing on the cake, his emergence as UNAAB’s 2009/2010 Session’s Overall Best Graduating Student.
“Today, Mr Chancellor Sir, I am grateful to the Lord that I was able to fulfil my dream as a boy of nothing at the start who has eventually become a man of something”, he declared.
He admonished fellow youths, especially undergraduates, never to give up but to always persevere and be determined to succeed.

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