God and my friends were my pillars of success —Ayobami, FUT’s best graduating student

25-year-old Miss Ayobami Esther has emerged the best graduating student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, with a CGPA of 4.88 in Computer Science, in the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

She attributes her success to God and the support she received from her friends.

Miss Ayobami says that she always puts God first in everything she does, her academics inclusive. She also paid glowing tributes to some of her equally very brilliant male and female colleagues who she said contributed immensely to her outstanding success by putting her through some very tedious academic works.

Esther, first of four female children of parents who hail from Omugo and Oro Ago  in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, told Saturday Tribune, however, that her excellent performance did not just start at the FUT, Minna.

She attended First ECWA Nursery &  Primary School, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, and had  her secondary education at Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, also in Ilorin, where she had  always been coming first.

She scored excellent grades in both the NECO and WAEC Ordinary Level  SSCE, and  made all her grades in the external SSCE GCE O’ Level {WAEC} even before her final year exams in secondary school.

At the end of the first semester of her 100 Level at FUT, Esther’s CGPA stood at 5.0.

Her excellent performances right from her 100 level earned her several scholarships from some blue chip and multinational companies, including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas,  throughout her five years in the university, a situation she said made her very comfortable owing to the monetary value attached to some of the scholarships.

“God is always there for me; and  throughout my days as an undergraduate student at FUT, I was never alone. I held on to the word that if you want to go far, you go alone; and if you want  to go really far, you go with friends.

“I knew I had friends around me. I still feel that my friends were my own pillars of success. They were there for me at every point. I had several teachers among those my friends, and they taught me practically everything asides from what my lecturers taught me,” she said.

But perhaps the biggest challenge she had was that she never had accommodation. She was always ‘squatting’ with school mates.

“When I was in 300 level, I squatted with my younger sister, and in my 400 level (still squatting with my sister), one of her roommates (not knowing we were sisters), asked my sister to chase me out.

“But my sister asked her, ‘do you want me to chase my own elder sister away?’ In our 500 level, we were lucky to get the same room but different beds in the hostel.”

Among the prizes Ayobami took during the 28th convocation and 36th Founders Day of FUT, Minna on Friday, 1st February 2019 were  Professor M. A. Akanji’s  prize for the best overall graduating student of the university, Mrs. Victoria Nnawo Kolo’s  prize for the best graduating female student; Vice Chancellor’s prize for the best graduating student in the School of Engineering & Engineering Technology and Professor K. R. Onifade’s prize for the best graduating student in the School of  Engineering& Engineering Technology.

Miss Ayobami has excelled in Computer Science, but she actually set out to study medicine or pharmacy. These she unsuccessfully applied for at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Osun  State and University of Ilorin two consecutive years respectively.

She, however, didn’t allow these discouragements to stand in her way.

Esther recounted an experience when a student in a room she was ‘squatting’ packed her things and those of her friend out of the room and dumped them near the dustbin.

“When we came back from church, we met our things outside practically inside a polythene bag.

“But when we asked the female student why she did that, she said she felt nobody was there. But we said our food which we cooked before we went to church was still warm as at the time she threw our things outside.

“When I got to my 200 level, as if they had marked my student identity card,  they still  did not give me accommodation. One of my classmates said I should move in with her in her room at the female hostel. She was so nice but her room mate was not nice . The roommate would say keep quiet, you have nothing to say; you’re just a common squatter. She was unnecessarily hostile to me.

“But I was ready to bear the insults because the nearer to class the better for me because sometimes we would go for reading in the class in the night and we would come back  sometimes by  3am or sometime by 4 am. And there was this safety of moving within the campus unlike at the off-campus at nights and that was what I was considering, ” she stated.

Esther plans to enrol for professional examinations.

“I want to equip myself with as many possible tools as I need; something I can do with my hands like the practicals that I know that I have omitted. I want to get them back through the professional exams to equip myself.

“I can then apply for a scholarship abroad and for my Master’s, and come back to the country so that I can actually take technology to peoples’ door steps.”

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