Best Nursing Student Mourns Mother’s Death, Jointly Receives N5.5m from Afe Babalola

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti 

A graduating Nursing student at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Rosemary Oriwoh, has mourned her mother’s death as the university’s founder, Aare Afe Babalola, doled out N5.5 million to outstanding Nursing graduates.

Rosemary, who made her plight known in an interview with THISDAY after receiving three awards of best student of the university at the induction of newly qualified registered nurses, produced by ABUAD, said though the day was her happiest day in life, her saddest day was the day she lost her mum.

“My saddest day in life is the day I lost my mum. I would have loved for her to be here to see how far I have come and celebrate with me. Today is the happiest day of my life because all my hard work and dedication paid off,” said Rosemary. “I believe this is the beginning of greater things to come. But the happiest day is today. I feel great. I feel honoured. It has been a wonderful journey so far and I have enjoyed every bit of the time I have spent in the school.”

Rosemary, who won best-graduating student of the Faculty of Nursing, Best in Registered Public Health Nursing and best-behaved student, who consequently received N450,000, added, “I honestly cannot say it was easy; the journey did not start today.”

She dedicated the awards to God, her parents, siblings and friends. The legal luminary gave N450,000 to Rosemary Oriwoh, the best graduating and best-behaved student, while the rest of the distinguished students got N100,000 each. The only four males in the faculty also got N100,000 each.

Babalola said his resolve always to reward excellence was borne out of the need to encourage scholarship and industry so that they could serve as lessons to others.

He said he deliberately established the university to change the face of tertiary education in the country and ensure that graduates of the institution became agents of change, equipped to change the world.

He noted that, in barely 15 years of existence, the university was rated the number one in Nigeria by the highly respected Times Higher Impact Education Rankings for two consecutive years (2621 and 2022) and Number 221 globally.

On the issue of the alumni association, the 96-year-old Babalola, who said he never had the opportunity of witnessing study under the four walls of any university, except through correspondences,  said it was a matter of regret that alumni no longer served the useful purpose, for which it was formed, in several years back.

“My advice to you all is that Nigeria should not lose hope. There is light at the end of the dark tunnel. Since our maiden convocation on Sunday, October 21, 2013, we have turned out 1,420 graduates. They are not only doing well, but they are also agents and leaders of reformation.

“We are the change that will change the world. We are breeding a new generation of leaders who will change the world for the better. This is why I want to say I am not happy with the role of alumni of universities, especially in ABUAD,” he said.

He consequently directed the university registrar and the director of international collaboration and linkages to establish a viable and functional alumni association immediately.

While inducting the graduating students, the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Dr Farouk Abubakar, represented by a director, Yahaya Sumi, urged the inductees to explore new opportunities in the profession and be good ambassadors of their chosen careers.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde, described ABUAD as the country’s ultimate destination for teaching and learning Nursing Science, urging parents who desire the best for their children and wards always to make it their first choice.

According to her, the faculty recorded a 100 per cent pass in the council final qualifying examination for nurses in 2023 and 2024, and they also all passed their midwifery examination in 2024.

“Besides, the faculty also crowned it all with another 100 per cent in the Public Health Professional Examination in 2024,” she said.

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