For the first time in the history of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) College of Medicine, Ogun State, a graduate of Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Saheed Alabi has achieved an unprecedented feat with distinctions in seven courses out of 10, emerging as the overall best graduating student at the institution’s combined 2014/15, 2015/16 convocation ceremony recently.
He was among the 43 first class graduates the institution produced this year. He got an automatic employment and promise of further studies abroad from Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
A breakdown of the statistics revealed that 5,809 graduands received their degrees, diplomas and certificates in the Faculties of Law, Pharmacy, Basic Medical Science, Health Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Arts, Education, out of which 41 had PhD; 379 master’s degrees; 110 got postgraduate diploma; 811 made second class upper division; 2,319 made second class lower; 1,192 had third class; while 20 made pass grade.
Alabi, who was conferred with a special award, was the cynosure of all eyes as he was called to receive his prize. Asked how he felt being the first to achieve the feat despite the challenges confronting the institution, he said, “I am glad I achieved that feat of being the first to graduate with MBChB with honors in the history of the university. I first read about the requirements during my 100 level days and felt it is not possible to get it, but now it is history. Someone has done it. I give Allah all the glory as well as my lecturers and mentors.”
He attributed his success to God’s favour and blessing, saying, “I do not know anything except that which God has taught me for He is the ‘All-knower, the all-wise’. Only God grants success, however, it is important we read in addition to praying. Also important is imparting knowledge unto others, know when you assimilate the most and make the best use of that time.”
Alabi said he plans to commence and complete his internship programme and afterwards do his postgraduate programme in clinicals and academic.
He advised other students to make prayer their priority, saying, “they should be diligent and hardworking. Strike the iron when it is hottest, read when you best assimilate and teach your colleagues or engage in academic discussions with your colleagues. Humility is key to making it in life and also form the habit of having good mentors and get advice from them.”
The best graduand, who said he had assisted in carrying out a surgery on a patient during his COBMES posting, thanked the vice-chancellor and his management team for their efforts in putting the institution in its rightful place, as well as the governor for supporting the university.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Saburi Adesanya, congratulated the graduands while advising them to bring to bear the skills and technique they acquired to excel in their areas of endeavour.
“The challenge of your generation is the hydra-headed problem of unemployment. This problem has been with us for some time now, hence you need a positive attitude outside there to succeed. One sure way to be relevant and useful to yourselves is to be competitive. You must inculcate the ‘can do spirit’ and be not only employers of labour, but job creators.”
He expressed concern that the university is faced with enormous challenges, which threaten the sustenance of its achievements, adding that it needs more facilities to meet its immediate need of increasing student population and development of its urban social amenities.