THE award ceremony organised, last weekend in Lagos, by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) for outstanding university and polytechnic students was to show that academic excellence deserves more recognition and better treatment than it is currently accorded in the contemporary Nigerian society, the Amir (President) of the MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, Dr Saheed Ashafa, has said.
At the ceremony, the first class and distinction graduates from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos State University (LASU) and Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) were decorated and presented with plaques and cash.
Ashafa lamented that the Nigerian society “no longer appreciate academic excellence.”
Specifically, he expressed concern that the Lagos State government did not include the celebration of outstanding young scholars in the state’s 50th anniversary.
“As a student-based organisation, no activity can be better promoted than having a scrupulous interest in celebrating academic excellence. Since the society we found ourselves has been grossly engulfed in frivolities and celebration of mediocrity, we are left with no option but to take up the responsibility of showcasing the brains among us who are not deterred by the apparent denial that has taken over the society.
“We are all living witnesses to the mouth-watering monetary encouragement, material gifts and accolades given to the winners and participants of the just concluded Big Brother Nigeria reality TV show. This is despite that majority agree that the show does not only corrupt our moral values but also sends a dangerous signal that academic excellence and being hardworking are no more prerequisites for success.
“Painfully, some other shows that promote indecency, laziness and the get-rich mentality among our youths also have sponsorships and endorsements from both local and multinational companies. I need not mention them because we already know them.
Yet, academic competitions and excellent performance by students receive peanuts from the society. What an irony!” he said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, advised the awardees not to rest on their oars but get to the peak of their academic careers.
Abdullateef asked them not to change “the winning strategy,” adding that “a successful life does not come by chance. If you put a lot of hard work in what you do, you will get result.”
He urged them to mentor other Muslim students and use their knowledge to contribute positively to Islam.
The chairman of the Lagos State Muslim Community, T. G. O. Gbadamosi, expressed delight with the outstanding performance of the students.
Gbadamosi, represented by Dr Maruf Animashaun, described the students as good representatives of Islam, who are worthy of emulation.