Mudathir Hayatullahi (Abu Lubabah) reports,
Muhammad Adeyemi, a 400-Level student at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) and an ex-member of the most outstanding press outfit on the soil of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, PEN PRESS UDUS, was awarded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) academic award under the auspices of the UNESCO-ICB (International Center for Biotechnology.
The award was said to be the most prestigious undergraduate academic award in Nigeria for any undergraduate category and is a joint partnership between the Nigerian Ministry of Education and UNESCO.
According to the UDUS social media handle, the maiden edition of the award indicated that Muhammad Adeyemi is the first and only Danfodiyo student on the list of 90 awardees from various universities across the country.
The award ceremony which took place at the Nigerian National Merit Award Secretariat (Merit House) in Maitama, Abuja on Friday, 1st April 2022, saw awardees from the three thematic areas of the centers being awarded which are: Food and Nutrition Security, Tropical Diseases, and Bioresources Conservation.
The Executive Director and CEO of the Centre – Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara made it known that the award covers the tuition fee, accommodation, books, and living expenses for the awardees. He reiterated that the competition was intense, and commended the awardees for their academic achievements.
Muhammad Adeyemi, popularly known as (ADRAT), expressed his excitement for making the history from local level to the global stage. He said what matters is not the quality of his award but the quality of his work, commitment, and dedication to excellence that is rewarding him.
“It’s a feeling of greatness and fulfillment of purpose,” he added.
When he was asked how he got informed about the scholarship, he said that he couldn’t even recall precisely where he saw the call for the application.
“However, I have access to different sources of information and I always give my best shot to submit such an application. If I may recall vividly, it should be the scholarship category section of (myschool.ng). But even looking at the application, I guess I saw it on the last day of receiving the application but I made sure I submitted all that was needed,” he noted.
When he was asked on how well he prepared for the competitions, he replied that: “As a student of Biochemistry at UDUS, the preparation was innate as one can infer from the qualities, academics capacities, and competencies of the lecturers and staff of his department because he was being trained by the best academics this country can offer and he took pride in that.
“My lecturers alone are a great motivation and encouragement to always challenge myself, ourselves (my colleagues) for the best that comes our way. So I will say I was more than prepared and the award isn’t a coincidence.”
As for the challenges he faced, Muhammad asserted that he does not face any challenge in applying for an award, it just came as a reward.
“Since the overall of what would be accessed is the applicant’s work (project) in the final year, I made a case for myself and speak about my experience while writing the application cover letter and statement of purpose.
“The experience I garnered at the Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training (CAMRET, UDUS) was very helpful and motivating enough. And I would like to use this medium to pray for the safe return of the CAMRET’s Director – Dr Mustapha Umar Imam who was involved in the ugly Kaduna-Abuja rail incident recently. He was instrumental in my stay at the Centre for my Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES),” he said.
He continued, “When I gained admission into this prestigious university in 2017, I made a covenant with my Creator that I shall propel and advance the course of progress and emancipation of a greater UDUS within my little ability from the ‘perceived local school’ to a ‘global limelight’. I believe with the help of Allah and my colleagues (like-minded), we are advancing that course to the fullest of our ability despite the odds being against us.
“Personally, I want people to know that there is a great citadel of learning and that it is located in Sokoto. I don’t want or like to see people confuse UDUS with a university in Kano, Abuja, or Kaduna. I simply want them to know that UDUS is in Sokoto and we are being made of great stuff.”
Muhammad, however, applauded the leadership of the UNESCO-ICB under Distinguished Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara (A Research Chair and Scientific Leader at the Stellenbosch University, South Africa) for employing the service of external bodies in these thematic areas to review the applications submitted.
“And after their recommendations, we (successful applicants) were contacted. From what was obtainable at the event ceremony, the best applications made the list strictly on merit. This is a testament that even at our darkest stage in the annals of our history as a nation, this is to tell you that we can always get it right with the right leadership leading the dispensation. I believe events and programs like this encapsulate what the Nigerian project and dream ought to be,” he added.
He therefore encouraged and advised the organizers of the program not deviate from the path of excellence they have chosen to represent.
As for Muhammad’s message to the university management, he said that he has established a network of how to communicate with the right channel.
“I can only charge the authorities using this medium as our fathers, mothers, and teachers to continue to advance the processes that will make learning easier, more efficient, and more effective for the generality of all Danfodites,” he urged.
Adeyemi, however told fellow Danfodites that although their challenges as students in UDUS are real and the needs are substantial, he implored them to always know that there is always a reward for academic excellence rigours they pass through on campus.
He said, “The opportunities are outside there waiting for us to tap on them and this is why my team and I – as the Convener at the UDUS Scholars’ Forum (U.S.F) are championing the institutionalization of luck through academic excellence, commitment, and dedication, especially for students like us who are from the humble background by sharing this type of opportunities.”
“So, I encourage Danfodites to join this forum when the next membership registration is open. In UDUS and for us at U.S.F; the best is yet to come as we are working for progress, till we all win!” he encouraged.