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Coming to UI... A Divine Travail

Saturday, 16 May 2015 · Uncategorized
My experience in the premier University was worthwhile. It was not without unusual and unprecedented challenges. The journey into the University of Ibadan began in another University

As a young student of a reputable secondary school in my Local Government, I was the Senior Prefect. This is a school where the position as officer was most celebrated. I also remembered that my Principal wanted me to be in science class and I recall that he came to my father one evening to convince my dad. My Principal was probably stirred by my performances in mathematics and Integrated Science.  But my father allowed me to make my choice. I became the only one of the five children in the Arts class. I graduated with the best result in the school with distinctions even in mathematics.

One would hope that the young brilliant chap would enter the higher institution straight without stress, but the reverse was the case.

I put in for the second UTME then UME and made two choices as required. I picked University of Lagos as my first while University of IIorin was my second. That was when JAMB was still purely paper form. You have to fill submit many hard copy forms to be registered. All that, I did, but only discovered that the instructor made mistake in the choice. He made Lagos State University my first choice instead of University of Lagos. This was in no way similar. I rushed to him and complained bitterly. He consoled me that he would effect the change (then, changing course and Institution were only possible on rare occasions).

JAMB later released the result after a month; it was the first time such would happen as results were often released at least three months after the examination.  I made 200 plus but with my result carrying Lagos State University and University of Ilorin as my choices. On checking my result, I rushed to the instructor who promised to effect the change before the release.  He also told me that the changes made would be effected in no time. Those times, changing after result has been released was impossible, but I believed him and left.

Post-UME was initiated a year before. LASU called for post- UME almost immediately the result was released.  I was then confused whether to go or not to go since picking LASU was merely an error which, I believed would be corrected.  But I went after all, at least for the sake of the fact that LASU was on my JAMB result slip. On entering the examination hall, I was in extreme ecstasy that I have secured admission as those questions were my tastes. Some mathematical problems were given to prospective law students, you remember mathematic was one of my best subjects.

The results of all who participated in the examinations were published in one of the National Dallies a week later. I came second of those who wrote for Law with 72 percent, the first who scored 76 percent.  A week later, LASU published admission list on the Dallies with 60 percent as cut-off for law. `I expected my name to be on the merit list, alas! My name was not there. That was the beginning of my travails

I was smart to copy out some numbers which I called to register my petition. The response was that my names could possibly have been erroneously omitted. I was advised to go to LASU to rectify the mistake. In preparation for the journey, I went to check my result, behold the change of Institution application has been effected. In that wise, I no longer picked LASU but UNILAG.  That estopped my journey to protest.

UNILORIN, my second choice then called for post-UME. I went and I was also blessed with my best areas in mathematics and English Essay writing. But the result was not released with some others. I did UNILAG post –UME, the cut-off for Law was 66. I made 65. I Lost admission that year.

To cover up the consistent questioning and stigma, I packed my luggage and went to UNILAG to   stay with my elder brother who was an engineering student of the university.  It will interest you to know that, that same year I lost admission, my successor as the Senior Prefect secured admission into UNILAG.

The next year, I put in for JAMB again, but this time, I was desperate of admission. I picked UNILAG English, which cut-off was 64 the past year, as my first choice and Law at Adekunle Ajasin University as my second. I read as never before. That was to compensate for the loss. I have vowed that I would compensate myself with either first, second or third position in JAMB. That time, such was still been celebrated. I read to the extent of identifying answers which were wrong in past question series.

I went to the examination centre as early as 8am, knowing nobody. The centre was very quiet and peaceful. Candidates were thoroughly checked in from the gate. I was very happy with such arrangement.  After a week, it was rumoured that results have been released. The information was confirmed true. That was the first time in history. I happily went to check my result. Unfortunately, my result was withheld.  That was really demoralizing.

I then rushed to JAMB office, Lagos to register my displeasure. I simply told them in a letter to release my result or to test me if they are in doubt of my performance in the examinations. In the process of complaining, one of the staff said sarcastically, ‘address the letter to the Registrar in Abuja (the headquarters) and take it there’.  I did. JAMB office , Abuja told me to expect my result in the two weeks. I went back to Lagos. I did check after two weeks, the same story still.  In fact it was a bitter experience. My siblings were tired for me.

I was reading for post-UME without JAMB result as choice universities were calling for post-UMEs. In the last day of my fourteen days fasting and prayer, I went to check the result and saw 248 as my scores (few days to post-UME). I went for the post –JAMB in Adekunle Ajasin University (where my twin’s sister was a pre-degree student). I was in the examination hall very early as 8am even while the examination was to start by 10am. By 10am, candidates were called in. My name was not only omitted but also my number. I was not allowed into the exam hall. I then have to trek miles to where that would be rectified (there was no ‘drop’ or taxi in the university). I was eventually allowed into the examination 15mins to the end of the exams, my name was written on the list with pencil. I was just shading since I was to stop with others.

I returned to UNILAG in preparation for her post UME which was a week later. The school was then my dreamt school. I like UNILAG. But remember I picked English. Not because I wanted English but because my post-UME scores for last year was higher than the cut off for English but was lower than that of Law. So I decided to put in for English so as to change to Law when my JAMB score was higher. But that did not work out as change of course had closed before my UME result was released. I needed to focus on English therefore.

I went to University of Ibadan to process my twin’s sister’s admission. The professor, when he saw my result wanted me to process mine since I had the required O’ level and JAMB result for Law, but I objected that I never liked UI.

My 248 was a low JAMB scores compared to others for the same course and it had to be divided by 8 and be added to post-UME scores to produce 100 percent weighted scores. I needed to prepare for the examination then. At last, my weighted score was 72 percent. Names of qualified candidates were published in order of merit and I was number nine on the list. That was how I was admitted for English (Arts). Although, UNILAG was my dreamt University, my dreamt course was in no way English. It was either Law or Nothing.

I became very serious with English but my mind would not shed the fact that I wanted law.  I was then the best student in my level and was also very popular in the faculty. Both students and Lecturers like me, (particularly for my sense of humour). I was very much industrious.

But I was resolute that English was not my course. Each time I made the statement, it often surprised my colleagues. After sometimes, unknown to anyone, including my siblings, I put in for another JAMB with my pocket money. I picked law in both UNILAG and UI. My choice of UI was just to fulfil all righteousness of two choices at least. I went and wrote the examination but what happened surprises' me till this day.

I was focused on my paper when somebody,(guess one of the supervisors) came to me and called me to follow her. I never knew her but I did follow her, although, an invigilator was in my class. She gave me prepared answer sheet for my subjects and asked me to go complete my work with it. I collected it but was totally confused. I have never done such a thing.  I put the cheats under my locker as I was confused. The woman came back after 40 minutes to ask how far. She was surprised and embittered when I told her I couldn’t use it. She collected it and left. In me was a deep sense of relief although much time was wasted on bewilderment. I was an object of laughter to all other students in the hall, who laughed probably at my inexperience. I scored 237 in the examination anyway.

I was almost concluding that I will continue with my English when the UI came with its style of application for second choice. I did apply and was called for interview which I attended with all courage required. But I was really not interested in the admission. I preferred UNILAG. When UI offered me admission to study Law, I was confused. To leave English where I was doing well seemed absolutely impossible. I mean, UI was a place I barely knew anyone like Lagos. Although, I like UNILAG, I love LAW. But that admission was coming from a University I turned down years ago.

About a month into resumption in UI, I was still confused. At the beginning of the year,  I went back to UNILAG and was reading in the 24 hours opened Library where I had a permanent seat. But as I sat, there came a final year law student and a friend. I narrated my confusions. He convinced me to go leaving the accrued benefits which he viewed as distractions to my moving forward citing Genesis Chapter 11 vs 31-32 and chapter 12 which we studied briefly. I was advised by the University Counselling Unit to go to UI since I love LAW, as a course.

I heeded to the advice and came the next day to UI. There was no money to pay my school and accommodation. I later paid my school fees. The accommodation fee was paid late but I was considered since it was in the first year. I was transferred to AWO hall.

That was the beginning of the journey in the land of UI. It was indeed a travail of which I will eternally be grateful. Little did I know those experiences were to prepare me for my years ahead. The five years in the University of Ibadan witnessed the manifestations of the dreams already dreamt. I was much engaged all through my five years in this school, but God has not allowed me to suffer in any way.  I appreciate the Household of ASF UI, for your love, prayer and ‘welfare packages’.

I appreciate God for seeing me through all these years. Through it all, I have learnt to trust in Jesus. Thank you  Jesus.
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