18 die, 41 injured in Lagos Island building collapse

18 die, 41 injured in Lagos Island building collapse

by Tajudeen Adebanjo, Olatunde Odebiyi and Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

No fewer than 18 persons died yesterday when a four-storey building collapsed on Lagos Island. Forty-one others were injured.

The incident occurred at No 14, Massey Street, Opposite Oja, Ita-Faaji.

The building, housing Ohen Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor, caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said many of the rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.

The Nation learnt that the large number of casualties sparked a shortage of blood with the general hospital calling for donors.

Idris said rescue efforts will continue today.

According to Lagos State Emergency management Agency (LASEMA) General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu, over 41 people were rescued from the rubble of the building, which had been marked for demolition since 2014.

An eyewitness, Abayomi Olaniyan, said he was among those rescuing the victims before the official rescue team came.

Olaniyan, said: “Some were rescued alive, some dead. One of the teachers still called shortly that she was on the ground floor of the collapsed building, trapped with 20 pupils.

“Something similar happened around here last year. The issue of building collapse is common here and government must do something about it. Houses will be marked and due for demolition but they will not demolish it; they will renovate it. So many houses here are weak; they are meant to be demolished but they will tell you they are renovating it; they will only paint it.”

An eyewitness, Bola Ogunyemi, said: “The pupils were already lined up from their third floor classes when the school owner noticed that the building was cracking. Before the kids could be arranged from their classes, the building had collapsed”. The school owner and some kids have been taken to the hospital.”

Some youths who are resident in the area were complaining that the rescue efforts were slow.

Since they were told to leave the scene, nobody was removed for about 30 minutes, they said at about 5p.m.

The officers and LASEMA officials, the boys said, were not doing enough.

Some of the boys were recalled to the scene.

The casualties

The school owner was among the first casualties.

She was taken to the General Hospital, where she died after efforts by the medicals to save her proved abortive.

A distraught mother of two victims urged the rescuers to help bring out her son, Luqman, from the rubble.

The woman’s daughter, Tobi, had earlier been rescued.

Among the victims is a woman, who called his brother that she was still trapped.

She told her brother that the caterpillar was on their floor, pleading that it should be moved back

“I am under the caterpillar. Help tell the driver to move back,” the victim under the rubble told her troubled brother.

An expectant woman was among those that were pulled out of the rubble alive. A man, who was trapped in the building, was said to have come home to eat. He was yet to be rescued as at press time.

A man, Bashiru Alagbala, who came to visit his wife, was brought out dead.

A family of four – father, mother, son and grandson – was also trapped. Father, mother and grandson were rescued but the son was said to be still under the rubble.

A source told The Nation that one of the dead was a pupil, who turned 10 yesterday.

The source said: “Today (yesterday) is his birthday and it is unfortunate that he died today. I learnt that he told his mother that he did not want to go to school today (yesterday). His mother must have seen him as a lazy boy. Sometimes, these little children see what we adults do not see. His mother should have talked about why he did not want to go to school, but I learnt his mother forced him to go and he died. She must be regretting that now.”

Another source said a pair of twin brothers was also trapped in the building. One was said to have died; the other was rescued alive with serious injuries.

A woman, who refused to be named, said her daughter, Azeezat, was still trapped in the rubble. She said she had been to all the hospitals but did not find her.

A former teacher in the school, Bukola Salami, said the building had been shaking since last year.

“I worked in the school for six months and I resigned last December because the building was shaking. When I was in the school, I used to hear sounds as if someone was throwing stones from the walls. The building cracks and the walls shake at times. I told the school owner about my observations, I told her to relocate the school elsewhere, but she said there was no money for the school to be relocated. I resigned last year because of the fear that someday the building might collapse.”

Where are the victims?

A nurse at Massey Street Children Hospital, Lagos Island, told The Nation that some of the victims brought to the hospital were given first aid and transferred to other hospitals for proper medical care.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Titi Gonclaves, told reporters at the Lagos Island General Hospital that five of the 20 early casualties were transferred to other hospitals after being attended to.

At the entrance of the hospital was pasted 41 names of the stable survivors: 22 females, 17 males. Two were unidentified.

Crowd hampered rescue, says Health Commissioner

Commissioner for Health Jide Idris confirmed the casualty figures of 18 deaths and 41 injured.

He lamented that the large number of spectators slowed down rescue efforts and he could not give a definite casualty figure until today.

Idris said: “Our doctors and nurses are working round the clock. A lot of them were mobilised from different hospitals down here. Doctors from federal institutions are also assisting because of the seriousness of this incident.

“We will not be able to give full information now until tomorrow (today) morning. Some have been taken to LASUTH, LUTH and we don’t know if more people will be rescued.

“The state of things now is getting calm than earlier because there were a lot of emotions.

The medical teams have done their best. It would have been done better and faster but for the crowd.

“So far all we care is to bring people out alive.”

General Hospital seeks blood donors

The Lagos Island General Hospital was last night calling for voluntary blood donors.

The hospital’s Blood Donor Clinic said it had received 50 pints of blood at press time, with more people responding to the call.

An official at the clinic, Akin, thanked the donors.

“Most of the victims brought here today (yesterday) are casualties and most of the blood donated here are majorly used for casualties.

“We screen for our donors, we check for TTI and PCV, then we check to know if the donor is fit.

The minimum requirement for a female donor is 38 percent at least, while male is 40 percent upwards. Then we also check if the female donor is not on her period, we check for malaria and other tests; if they are fit, we start the procedure.

“Blood is life, we thank the blood donors for coming out en masse to support the hospital and the government,” Olojo told The Nation.

Ambode orders probe, takes over victims’ medical expenses

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode commiserated with families of the victims and promise to pay the victims’ medical bills.

Ambode, who visited the scene of the incident at about 2:42pm, described the incident as “unfortunate”.

He urged residents to allow rescuers space to carry out their operations.

Ambode said: “I want to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this collapsed building. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation.

“Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives.

“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathisers will naturally come, but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.”

The Governor said his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, was visiting hospitals where some of the victims rescued had been taken to.

“The Deputy Governor is in the hospital actually taking care of those that were rescued and taken to the hospital, most especially the children. We will immediately take care of whatever it is that we can do, including the hospital bills.

“All we are interested in now is to save more lives and also see how those that have been rescued are put in proper place and proper care,” Ambode said.

‘Several buildings marked for demolition’

Ambode said he had received information that the building was residential, with the school operating illegally within the premises.

He said most of the buildings in the area had been marked for demolition but that some property owners defied such notices. Structurally defective buildings would be demolished, he stressed, adding:

“The first observation is that this is an old building and it is only the penthouse and the other floors that we have been able to use to rescue people.

“So far, from what I have been briefed, we have rescued about 25 people and some already dead but we were earlier informed that it was a school; the building is not technically a school; it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school, so to speak, on the second floor.

“Like we have said, we have been carrying out a lot if integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and, as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords, but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those that have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we’ll bring the structures down,” he said.

Ambode also said a probe would be carried out immediately rescue operations are concluded. Those found culpable, he promised, will be dealt with in accordance with the laws.

“This is unfortunate but we will investigate what has happened and also see the punishment for whoever are the culprits.

‘’That is the secondary level but the most important thing right now is to save lives and I just appeal to people that they should give us the chance to save more lives,” he said.

Responding to a concern raised by a resident on the increase in illegal schools in the area, Ambode said all schools that fall within that category would be closed down.

‘Why LASEMA couldn’t bring in heavy equipment’

LASEMA General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu said the environment did not allow the agency to bring in bigger equipment.

He said: “So far, over 40 people have been rescued by joint efforts of the community. They had rescued many people and we came and joined them with the efforts of other agencies.

“The work we have done here today has been by the help of this community and those of us in the official rescue team. They had been rescuing people before we came. We are trying to decide where to rescue them from. But we are doing our best.

“We must get to the bottom of the building, and account for everybody that they claim is in the building.”

Private owners disown school

Two main private school associations – the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) and the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) – denied any link with the collapsed school.

The National President of AFED, the umbrella group of private schools for low-income earners, Mr Emmanuel Orji, said the group had no records of the school’s membership.

“We have tried searching for information about the school. I don’t think it is one of our members,” he told The Nation on phone.

In the past, the government had clamped down on AFED schools for not being registered or operating according to laid down rules and regulations.

Orji said the space constraints in the densely populated area where the collapsed school was located may have limited the choice of properties available to use for schools.

SOME OF THE SURVIVORS

Rasheed Lasbat (f)
Ogunsanwo Olumide (m)
Adeyemo Kehinde (f)
Adedoyin Rukayat (f)
Sanusi Rukayat (f)
Sulaimon Baraka (f)
Rasheed Shukurat (f)
Komolafe Saidat (f)
Unknown (f)
Unknown (m)
Unknown (m)
Hassan Omotolani (f)
Abimbola Faruq (m)
Alabi Qayum (m)
Afolabi Rodiat (f)
Olawusi Rokibat (f)
Alawu Tayibat (f)
Adedoyin Kehinde
Unknown
Rasheed Labat (f)
Noimot Tise (f)
Alabi Kabiru (m)
Shasore Kabiru (m)
Ogunsanwo Daniel (m)
Owolabi Ayomide (m)
Ayeni Faruq (m)
Amoo Khalid (m)
Unknown (Iya Ope) (f)
Johnson Esther (f)
Hassan Jamiu (m)
Ajibade Saratu (f)
Unknown (f)
Samuel Esther (f)
Adesegiri Kemi (f)
Wasiu Segun (m)
Ayeni Asabi (f)
Alabi Kabiru (m)
Mubarak Olayinka (m)
Hassan Jamiu (m)
Ayanbola Demola (m)
Afolabi Samiat (f)

Source: The Nation

Avoid pre-marital sex, develop self esteem, students charged at Jakande College outreach programme

Avoid pre-marital sex, develop self esteem, students charged at Jakande College outreach programme

Students have been implored to shun pre-marital sex and focus on their self esteem in order to realise their full potentials.
This counsel was given by facilitators at a three-day pre-Valentine outreach organised by Jakande Comprehensive College, Ipaja Lagos State between February 11 to 13.
One of the facilitators, Mr Ola Diamond, charged the students to be focused on their studies and avoid bad company.
He also warned them to avoid being spectators in life, saying only players stand a chance to take glory, while spectators only applaud.
The programme which featured Assembly Talk, Red Carpet, Group Discussion, Gender Talk and Counselling, according to the school Counsellor, Mrs Omolara Oyewale, was organised to enlighten the students on how to resist peer pressure and temptations which accompany Valentine Day celebration.
She said:
‘Valentine is about Godly love, not emotional love. We organised the programme to enable the students have an understanding of life and resist temptation of being lured with a bottle of minerals.
‘ The students are encouraged to stay indoor with their family and help their parents.. if they have to go out, it should be with families. They should avoid being in lonely places with members of the opposite sex, to avoid rape. They should not be deceived by Greek gifts.
‘Many young ones lose their virginity on Valentine day. We empower them on how to avoid rape. We divided the students to gender groups to ensure they are free to express their minds.
We want them to know what Valentine is for. We want them to use the period productively’, she added.
Recounting their experience, the participants made up of students from the school and nearby schools expressed delight, saying it has enriched their knowledg
The Senior Girl of the school, Malik Hamida said:
We learnt a lot. We learnt about abstinence . We were made to realise we face challenges like abuse, loss of self esteem. We learnt that Valentine is not about boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Sex is meant for people that are married. Students should build their self esteem.
The Senior Boy Rasak Akorede Stephen
We learnt about danger of masturbation. How we can prevent it . We were taught to approach the Counsellor. We were also taught how those involved in masturbation can stop it. We were also taught to speak out whenever we are being molested or lured to engage in unholy acts.

Students of neighbouring Abesan Senior High School were not left out
Adebakin Samson;

We learnt about male and female organs. We were taught how to resist sexual urges. We were also taught about effects of masturbation. We were taught that it could lead to memory loss and mental imbalance

Oladipupo Ayomide;
We were divided into male and female section. In the female section, we were taught about menstrual cycle. It was anchored by Mrs Motilola. She told us of the symptoms of the menstrual cycle and the materials we need. We were also taught by Mra Omolara. She warned us to resist peer pressure of going into sex because our friends are doing it. We were also taught about personal branding. We were taught that God created us to be unique.
Adewoyin Charity:
Mrs Motilola taught us how to comport ourselves. We should resist peer pressure. Mr Diamond said to be successful we should aim high. He also challenged us to be players and not mere spectators. Only players can win. Only players can change circumstances.

The Counsellor, expressed gratitude to the School Principal, Mrs Olaitan Makinde, and other members of staff for their financial and moral contributions to the success of the programme.

Elections Postponement Will Affect Students Preparing For WAEC, Other Exams ― NUT

Elections Postponement Will Affect Students Preparing For WAEC, Other Exams ― NUT

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Saturday said the postponement of the 2019 general elections would affect students preparing for the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) and other external examinations.

Its Chairman in Lagos State, Mr. Adesina Adedoyin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the INEC decision would disrupt the schools’ second term academic calendar.

Also, Mr Usman Dutse, the National President of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), said the postponement was “unwise and showed the ill-preparedness of the electoral body”.

According to Adedoyin, NUT is not too happy with the disruption or postponement of the 2019 elections, because it will disrupt the school calendar.

“It is unfortunate and very disheartening because it is going to affect mostly, the students in the boarding schools. INEC came on air and told us that they are very prepared; they told us not to worry.

“There were even rumour that the elections will be postponed, yet INEC told us to disregard the rumour. The rumour now became a reality and it is affecting our children.

“In view of this, we are not too happy; some of us, who are parents, teachers and a stakeholder are deeply sad. I have my own child who will be writing external examination this year, and will be seriously affected,” Adesina said.

He added that with the new elections arrangements, the students would have holidays on three different occasions in the second term.

“Do we say the students should stay at home till after the presidential elections or should they go back on Monday and returned home again on Thursday?

“There is really not much sense in the new arrangement. With this development, we should assume that the students have had their second terms holiday.

“Ordinarily, it has affected their holidays, because the Lagos State newly adjusted calendar says instead of having 14 days for holiday, students will only have 10 days as second term holiday. But, with what is happening now, I do not know how they will do it,” he said.

The NUT Chairman said that with the latest development, it would be unwise for students to return to school on Feb. 18 and come back again home on February 21.

According to him, the students were brought home on February 14 and to return on February 18.

“Will they go back to school on Monday and return again on Thursday? Or will they remain at home till next week after the elections?

“These students are supposed to be doing serious reading for those who are in SS3, and will be writing external examinations which will commence toward the end of March.

“But for us, it is unwise for students to go back to school on Monday and returned back on Thursday and after two weeks, come home again.

“The best solution is for the students to remain at home from February 18 and return to their various schools on February 25. This is the best thing to do, let the students stay at home,” he said.

In his comments, Dutse said that the country must learn to do things the proper way and avoid last minute change.

He said that the postponement would affect the confidence the public have in INEC.

Dutse explained the change in elections schedules was a loss to many people, saying that people had either made new plans, travelled, or rescheduled their programmes for the elections.

“As a country, we should learn to keep to date, while staying true proper arrangements, because this kind of situation could create suspicion. I think it is high time we grew up, doing things better and openly,” he said.

Polytechnic lecturers suspend strike

Polytechnic lecturers suspend strike

Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Polytechnic lecturers under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic Staff (ASUP) have suspended their nationwide strike.

ASUP thus directed its members to resume work as soon as possible.

ASUP President, Usman Dutse, told journalists in Abuja, on Tuesday, that the decision to suspend the strike was taken by the National Executive Council (NEC) after exhaustive deliberation and due consultation with the respective congresses across Nigeria.

He said that government had committed to a reviewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of action to concretise the resolution and ensure its full implementation, and the union would resume the industrial action if the government failed to do that.

Recall that academic workers withdrew their services in December 2018, to register their discontent with the inability of the government to meet the agreements it reached with the union.

Poem of the week: On the Beach at Night

On the Beach at Night

BY WALT WHITMAN

On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.

Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.

From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.

Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.

Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.

62% pass five subjects including English, Mathematics as NECO releases results

NECO Releases Nov/DEC 2018 Examination Results

•Says 62.48% candidates scored 5 credits including English, Mathematics

By Clement Idoko |

THE National Examinations Council (NECO) on Friday announced the release of the 2018 November/December Senior School Certificate Examination, SSSCE, for external candidates.

Acting Registrar of NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, who announced the release of the results said a total of 37,069 candidates representing 62.48 per cent who sat for the exams got five credits and above including English and Mathematics.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, Gana disclosed a total of 59,963 candidates registered for the examination and were examined in about 28 subject areas.

He also disclosed a total of 12,084 candidates were arrested for their involvement in examination malpractices during the conduct of the examination.

He said 47, 031 candidates, representing 79.27 per cent obtained five credits and above, irrespective of English and Mathematics.

The NECO boss while given further breakdown of the performance of candidates, said 57,842 sat for English Language out of which 44,497, representing 76.93 got either distinction or credit.

He added that “57,275 sat for Mathematics, out of which 47151 representing 82.32% got either distinction or credit.”

“A comparative analysis of candidates who scored five credits and above, including English Language and Mathematics for 2017 and 2018 shows 56.79% for 2017 and 62.48% for 2018. This represents an increase of 5.69%,” he said.

On examination malpractices, during the exercise, the NECO Registrar said there was an upward trend in candidates’ involvement in examinations malpractice as compared to 2017, as a total of 12,084 candidates were caught cheating as against 4,425 in 2017.

He said the increase in cases of exam malpractice reflects the desperation by candidates seeking to cut corners and the determination of the council to apprehend culprits in line with its zero tolerance for examination malpractice.

He noted candidates cheated more in Mathematics, English language, Biology and Economics, subject areas candidates often find it difficult to pass.

Gana said the result checker cards would no longer be used to check their results, urging candidates to log on to the council’s website and click on NECO results to purchase a token that can be used to access their results.

At last, ASUU suspends three-month-old strike

ASUU calls off three-month-old strike

Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday called off the three-month-old strike it embarked upon over revitalisation of universities, academic earned allowances, issuance of Universities Pension Management Company and other issues.

The strike was called off after a two-hour meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

Ngige said after the meeting that eight areas of disagreement were discussed and agreed on by the two parties, while expressing gratitude to ASUU leadership for their understanding.

He said, “We have dealt with all the eight contending issues and some of them have been implemented. ASUU has a licence for the Universities Pension Management Company since January 28, 2019.

“On the issue of salary shortfall in the universities, the Federal Government has released N16bn, out of which N15.384bn is for universities, while the rest is for other tertiary institutions. The Vice Chancellors have acknowledged the receipt of the funds.

“We also have a committee to liaise with state government-owned universities, ASUU and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education. That committee was inaugurated two weeks ago.

“The visitation panel has been constituted and will commence work on March 2, 2019. On the issue of Earned allowances, the Federal Government has released N20bn for the payment to all categories of university staff. For the Earned academic allowance, the Federal Government has released N25bn and for the revitalization fund, a total of N25bn will be released in the period of April and May 2019 and will resume full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding entered into in 2019.”

ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said the decision of ASUU to call off the strike would take effect from Friday, February 8, 2019.

Credit: Punch

Teacher killed after seizing phone from students

Kenyan teacher killed ‘after confiscating phone’

Three students have been arrested in connection with the murder of a teacher in Kenya after he reportedly confiscated at least one mobile phone.

Peter Omari, a physics teacher at Hopewell High school in Nakuru, was attacked on Thursday.

Students are prohibited from taking mobile phones to many schools Kenya as they are blamed for exam cheating and indiscipline.

Officials told the BBC that Mr Omari had been supervising evening studies.

The area’s deputy county commissioner, Elim Shafi, said that Mr Omari was walking back to his home inside the school compound in Nakuru, 150km (95 miles) north-west of the capital, Nairobi, when he was struck on the head.

Attacks on teachers and schools are a growing concern for the authorities, says the BBC’s Mercy Juma in Nairobi.

Last year, a teacher was murdered with a machete by students in Kisume, western Kenya, reportedly after a heated exchange at a bar.

In 2016, students at a boarding school in Kisii burnt down the dormitories allegedly after they were banned from watching a live broadcast of a Euro 2016 football match.

Source: BBC

My father banned TV, others in our home when I was growing up –Temidayo, first-class graduate of law school

My father banned TV, others in our home when I was growing up –Temidayo, first-class graduate of law school

Mr Daodu Oluwamayowa Temidayo, a graduate of Ekiti State University, graduated with first-class degree in the 2017/2018 set of the Nigerian Law School. He tells IHUOMA CHIEDOZIE how he was able to excel in the school

Looking back, are you happy that you chose to study law?

I am happy that I studied law. Right from childhood, being a lawyer has always been my dream and I am grateful to God for making that dream a reality today.

What made you decide to study law?

Putting a smile on someone’s face and helping others have been the driving force behind my decision to be a lawyer. I felt it would afford me the opportunity to reach out to them. The respect and honour given to those in the legal profession also motivated me to become a lawyer.

Which university did you attend?

I attended Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, formerly known as University of Ado-Ekiti.

Was it easy for you to graduate with a first-class degree in law school?

Graduating with a first-class degree in law school was not easy, I must admit. Anyone who graduated from the law school will confirm that. The law school programme is structured in such a way that your least grade determines your final results unlike what you have in the university where a poor grade in one course may not really reflect on the Grade Point Average.

How many of you graduated with a first-class in your set in the law school?

Two graduates of Ekiti State University graduated with a first-class from the law school, while a total of 161 students bagged first-class degrees in the 2017/2018 set of the Nigerian Law School.

Was there any strategy you deployed that worked for you?

Well, I believe it was God that made it possible. Speaking of strategy, I don’t think I did anything special. However, I believe in having mentors, and have always followed their advice. I made it a duty to read all the interviews and stories of those who graduated with first-class degrees that I could find. I took note of the things they did differently and how they succeeded. This helped me during my stay in the law school. I made sure I read ahead of each class and also did the tasks assigned for each class because of the fear that I could be called in class to say something. This helped me to understand the topics. I also took lectures very seriously and listened attentively in class because I knew law school examination questions would come from the lecturers. I used the materials of Kenneth Okwor, who was the overall best student in his set in addition to the recommended textbooks.

What was the longest number of hours you read at one go?

Honestly, I can’t read for long hours; after three hours of reading, I always took a break before reading any material again. I always envied those who stayed up all night to read. Right from time, I had known that I couldn’t read at night, that was why I did as much as I could during the day.

While in the university, did you have time for social events at all?

(Laughs) I didn’t engage in social activities during my undergraduate days. However, I was actively engaged in MFMCF (Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries Christian Fellowship) EKSU. I became an executive right from when I was in 300 level and the only time left for me after school and church programmes, was purely spent on reading and studying.

Did you make any conscious effort to seek out friends that could motivate you to study harder?

Yes, I have always surrounded myself with friends who are like-minded and would challenge me to study harder. I was lucky to have such friends in school, also in Kano campus. My friends at the law school contributed in no small way to my success at the bar final exams; we always had group discussions where we shared views and worked on past questions while timing ourselves. My friends, to a large extent, helped me to realise my dreams.

Did you have to sacrifice anything in order to excel?

I had to give up social life and unnecessary outings. I remember staying back after the end of first term and spending Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in school just to be able to read the topics we had done and discuss same with my friends who were also around during the break.

Was graduating with a first-class degree a challenge you set for yourself?

Having a first-class degree has always been my goal right from the outset. I started with the end in mind and was ready to pay the price, knowing that with God, nothing is impossible. And yes, I did challenge myself; although, I finished with a second-class upper degree from university, I told myself that if others could do it, then nothing should stop me from graduating with a first-class degree from law school even if I didn’t have it in the university.

Have you imagined how you would have felt if you had failed to achieve the feat?

After seeing the workload and the enormous demands of the law school, it crossed my mind a couple of times that I might not have it, but my consolation always came from Isaiah 41:10. This has always been my anchor scripture and my belief was that those who succeeded did not have two heads.

How would you have felt if you had not graduated with a first-class degree?

I would have accepted any grade I got even if it wasn’t first class, because I know that grades cannot limit one’s potential if the person has a passion for greatness. Many of the renowned and brilliant lawyers who have contributed immensely to the legal profession did not even graduate with first-class degrees.

What are your aspirations? Where would you like to work?

I would like to get a master’s degree in one of the renowned universities in the United Kingdom. I hope to get a scholarship to enable me to pursue my dream. I also desire to carve a niche for myself in the corporate world. I desire after my service year, to work in one of the top-tier law firms (in the country) and learn and develop, especially in the area of corporate law.

How did your parents and siblings feel after you graduated with a first-class degree?

When our results were finally released, I had to summon courage to check mine, after having sleepless nights for two days. I finally checked my results with my heart beating very fast. Fear was written all over me, lo and behold, it was first class. I checked the results more than three times to be sure they were mine because I felt I didn’t answer some questions well. My younger brother was even scared when I shouted upon seeing my results; my parents were elated and glad and they told me it was well deserved.

Were there times your parents rewarded you for your performance?

Yes, my parents, especially my dad, are strict disciplinarians who always encourage us to study hard. He believes every child has great potential which can only be revealed through hard work and discipline. Since I was in primary school, my dad imposed a ban on watching of television in our house. We never had DVD or even computer games. His belief was that the time spent watching television should be spent adding value to yourself and reading your books. My parents were very supportive and would always encourage you, even after failing. They will say you can still be the best you are meant to be.

What do you think students should be doing that they don’t do?

Students should rely more on God rather than depend on their own strengths and abilities. Humility and readiness to learn, even if it’s from one’s classmates, goes a long way in helping students to succeed.

I will also state that diligence, dedication and willingness to pay the price for success should also be part of the culture imbibed by students, as a man once said that greatness is achievable, but not without a price.

I think students should look inward and find out what actually works for them. Many people fail to achieve excellence because they tend to copy others.

Some people are of the view that it is harder to maintain a first-class grade level than to get there; how true is this?

I quite agree with that position. Expectations are somehow higher, especially for someone that is already at that level. It behoves the person to show that it isn’t by fluke and that the position is well deserved. There are times I almost gave up on my dream of graduating with a first-class degree, but I constantly reminded myself that the difference between those who succeeded and those who failed was that the latter gave up earlier, while those who succeeded held on a bit longer than others.

Were you one of the best in your class in secondary school?

No, I attended Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure, Ondo State and during my secondary school days, I was not even among the best students in my class; I was an average student. After I did Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for the first time, I couldn’t get my favourite course of study in the University of Benin, Edo State; that was law. I did my second UTME and got 263 after which I got admission to study law at EKSU, formerly UNAD.

Why do you think students fail in school?

I think many people fail because of fear. When school resumed for third term after the externship period, the fear was so palpable. Fear can make you forget the simplest things like your name. The best thing is to put one’s fear under control and turn it into something that will motivate you to do great things and not act as a barrier. Inability to pay attention to small things such as instructions or even questions can bring failure. Many people fail not because they don’t know the subject, but because they either answered it wrongly or did not fully answer the question.

Are there any challenges you had while in school that could have stopped you from graduating with a first-class degree?

Law school is a jealous wife which requires your full and undivided attention. I always found it difficult to keep up with the workload and volume of books that we had to read for each course. Many times, after each day’s lecture, I would find it difficult to prepare for the next day, so I had to come up with a to-do list as a means of managing my time well. I tried to wake up early in the morning to do revision and attend to tasks and after class, I tried to revise and also read in preparation for the next day. I made it a culture to always finish all the activities listed on my list before going to bed each night. At some point, I was intimidated when I saw people taking notes, going to the library and reading till daybreak. I had to find out what actually worked for me, so I came up with a plan that suited me. I knew I had to read two or three times before I would understand a topic unlike others who would read once and understand. I started listening to audio lectures and my personal recordings, which help me to remember the principles and sections faster.

Credit: The Punch

Lagos Introduces French Quiz Contest in Secondary Schools

Lagos Introduces French Quiz Contest in Secondary Schools

The Lagos State Government has added a new diet of quiz competition to the co-curricular activities of secondary schools in the state. The maiden edition of the competition conducted in French Language tagged, ‘A la Connaissance de Lagos’, meaning ‘How much of Lagos do you know?’, held at the Immaculate Heart Comprehensive School Hall, Maryland.

Eighteen schools from the six education districts competed at the grand finale of the competition which saw Sito Gbetrome Senior Secondary School, Seme, Badagry smiling home with the star prize. Ikeja Senior High School and Badagry Grammar School emerged second and third positions respectively.

In her remarks, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule lauded the ingenuity of the Multilingual Centre for initiating the quiz competition in French Language, saying that it has challenged the students to know more about their immediate environment and answer questions in French.

Adebule, who was represented by the Director, Basic Education Services, Mr. Abiodun Oni, said the new competition was meant to redirect the minds of the students towards keeping abreast of happenings in their immediate environment, have a sense of history and develop penchant for reading wider and broadening their knowledge.

She recalled how the state government had collaborated with TV5 World Service, a multimedia platform for the teaching and learning of French Language; and ensure that the Multilingual Centre is certified as an International Language Resource Centre (ILRC).

“400 French teachers were trained to take full advantage of the terms of certification in realisation of the importance of French as a major lingua franca in the world,” she said.

Adebule added that the intensive study of French Language and the introduction of quiz and debate competitions in the language in the state is capable of producing a corps of diplomats as French and English are the leading international languages of the world.

She advised the students to study the French Language in other to boost communication with other Francophone countries aside commerce, socio-cultural interaction as well as the nation’s security management. “French Language graduates stand better chance of employment by multinational companies and organisations.”

The Director of the Multilingual Centre, Mrs. Taiwo Haastrup said the state government introduced the centre to serve as a platform that will enhance French Language teachers’ and students’ proficiency and efficiency for effective service delivery.

She thanked Governor Akinwummi Ambode for efforts towards the education sector and urged the students to take advantage of the programme and be focused.