Meet Olayinka Olamide Sadiq, a student who made history at the convocation of the University of Ibadan last week.
The Nation reports that a 23-year-old student got 8 out of 11 possible distinctions in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
The indigene of Iragbiji in Osun state beat the record of seven distinctions set some years ago and became the overall best graduating student of the university.
Organizers and participants of the convocation ceremony held at the International Conference Centre of the university were shocked and amazed when his name was called 31 times during the prize presentation.
Speaking with The Nation, Sadiq explained how he achieved such success and why he chose veterinary medicine and not medicine or surgery.
“Years ago, University of Ibadan practised a mode of admission where your credentials are graded; basically your JAMB and O-level results. Unfortunately, my O-Level was not included, so my weighted average was so low. It was 27.5; too low for the course I wanted. Veterinary medicine was neither my first nor second choice. It was an alternative as ‘change of course’ due to what I call irregularities, which prevented me from being admitted for Basic Medical Science,” he said.
When asked how he managed to break the record and become the best graduating student, Sadiq explained:
“I knew I was going to do very well in the university, but being the best overall student of the year…sincerely I did not think of it. I had some B grades despite the fact that I still scored highest in those courses. The number of distinctions attainable in the veterinary school, University of Ibadan is 11 and I made 8. The other three courses were B grades.”
The talented young man revealed that after his youth service he is planning to enroll for a postgraduate course in diagnostic medicine in the USA.
“Being a first class student takes hardwork, focus and prayer to sustain. Some are gifted, but work is still required. Prayer is a necessity if we want to survive the hurdles of life; I am a Muslim and I pray five times daily. Distractions would always surface, but when you are focused, you will be able to achieve many things, even with the numerous distractions in the university.”
“In veterinary school, 24 hours is never enough. Going to class Mondays to Fridays, from 8am to 5pm; extra-classes on weekends, numerous tests from various departments…It is impossible to thrive without burning the midnight oil,” he said.
Although Sadiq dedicated all his life to studying and had no time for romance, he has no regrets as God always helps him to go through hard times.