6 December 2017

Nigeria: Reps Honour OAU Academic Record Breaker, Former Street Beggar

Photo: Supplied
The House of Representatives has, during plenary, honoured Aarinola Blessing and Abdulsalam Idowu for their rare feats and academic attainment. Idowu contracted polio while a child and begged on the streets to survive, while Blessing is the first medical student to graduate with distinction in surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University since 1989.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday during plenary honoured Aarinola Blessing and Abdulsalam Idowu for their rare feats and academic attainment.

Ms. Blessing, 24, was admitted into the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State to study Medicine and Surgery in 2011. She scored an excellent Cummulative Grade Point (CGPA) of 4.74 in her first year.

Subsequently in her second through sixth year she scored: Distinctions in Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry and Physiology (200L); Distinctions in Medical Biochemistry and Pharmacology (300L); Distinctions in Pathology and Pharmacology (400L); Distinctions in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mental Health and Dermatology (500L) and Distinctions in Surgery (600L) (An Achievement elusive for a period of 28 years in OAU/Nigerian Medicine and Community Health).

Meanwhile, the details of Mr. Kamaldeen, 38, shows that he lost his two legs to polio at the tender age of 3, lost his mother at the age of 4, started primary school at 8, and started street begging to raise money to buy school uniform, books and food.

He begged for alms from primary through secondary school and was known on the streets of Lagos as a beggar. He reportedly slept under Idumota Bridge for several years before saving money gathered from commuters and care givers alike to rent a room.

From street begging he bought GCE form in 2002; passed his GCE and JAMB examination and was subsequently admitted to study Political Science in University of Lagos. He later sat for another WAEC and JAMB examination while preparing for the completion of his first degree in Political Science.

In his determination to become a Lawyer, Mr. Abdulsalam gained admission to study Law at the University of Lagos in 2010, went to the Nigerian Law School in 2015 and was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 30th November, 2016.

In a motion by the House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, the house commended Mr. Abdulsalam for his strong determination and perseverance despite his lifetime challenges and Miss Olaiya for her exceptional academic feat.

The house also also considered establishing a Parliamentary Honours/Award System for recognition of extraordinary achievement made by Nigerians.

The 8th Assembly has kept to its tradition of encouraging citizens with extraordinary records initiated through a motion from Femi Gbajabiamila on the March, 23, 2016. The same honour was given to Nigeria's First 5.0 CGPA Record Breaker, Ayodele Dada.

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