The best-graduating student of the 2020/21 set of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Oluwanifemi Favour Olajuyigbe has attributed her outstanding performance at the university to the grace and benevolence of God.
She made the submission while delivering a speech at the convocation ceremony of the set on Friday, November 17 at the university premises.
Active in fellowship
Olajuyigbe whose father is a reverend and mother a professor graduated from the Department of Electrical Electronics Engineering with a cumulative CGPA of 4.93. She had also won the 2023 edition of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) Best Graduating Female Student of Engineering in Nigeria Award.
Ironically, she said she never had aspirations of becoming the best student in the department, let alone the entire university.
She however said she had the mindset of giving her best in everything she pursued and always refused to back down in the face of challenges.
Olajuyigbe was an active member of Chapel Youth Fellowship (CYF) while in school and was the fellowship’s Choir Secretary.
She said, “ I vividly remember one of my major prayer points upon being admitted to the university: “Father, make me excel wherever I am, so when people ask how I’m doing it, I will say it is by Your grace.” Looking back, I can confidently say that I am a product of that prayer, and I humbly give all glory to God. It is not by my own power or might that I stand here as the best-graduating student but by the grace of God.”
Five years to seven years
She noted that the Class of 2021 of FUTA was a peculiar one. “Our journey in FUTA was one of the longest the school has had in a while. Five years turned to seven with no carryovers; it was not an easy feat.
We faced seemingly endless strikes that tested our patience and resolve. While our peers in private schools graduated, we were at home, facing uncertainties. Yet, here we are, the resilient Class of 2021, emerging victorious from the challenges that have only made us stronger.”
Olajuyigbe recalled “the countless sleepless nights, the long hours of classes, the daunting courses, the anxiety that comes with preparing for tests and exams, and the times of confusion when grappling with complex courses? In hindsight, these experiences, although difficult at the time, have moulded and prepared us for where we stand today. FUTA has instilled in us invaluable lessons about resilience, innovation, unity, hard work, excellence, and self-reliance. It is no surprise to see FUTA graduates excelling in various fields.”
According to her, every every graduating student has a unique story, a unique struggle, and a unique triumph.
She pleaded with her colleagues to carry with them the lessons they have learnt, the friendships they have forged, and the memories they have created together. “Let us continue to uphold the values of resilience, innovation, and excellence that FUTA has instilled in us and make our alma mater proud wherever our paths may lead us.”
Counsel for undergrads
She noted that the achievements of the graduating students “are not just a reflection of our hard work but also a testament to the support and encouragement we received from the entire FUTA community.”
For the undergraduates, she said, “I offer this advice: always strive to be the best wherever you are and in whatever you do, never give up regardless of the obstacles you face. With faith in God and determination, success is inevitable. Let Proverbs 22:29 be your anchor, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings: He shall not stand before mean men.” This is one of the secrets of success.”
She thanked her parents, Revd. Dr. Ebenezer and Prof. Folasade Olajuyigbe, saying, “Your unwavering love and support have been my guiding light. Without your encouragement and sacrifices, this achievement would not have been possible.”
She also thanked her siblings, all those in her class, her Supervisor, Dr. A. O. Fadamiro, the Head of the Department in her final year, Dr. T. O. Ale, and all lecturers and staff of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department.
Olajuyigbe who exuded a great deal of confidence while delivering her speech also thanked all members of the Chapel of Faith, FUTA, where she worshiped, especially the youth arm, Chapel Youth Fellowship (CYF) and the Choir, where she served as the Students’ Representative and Choir Secretary.
While thanking all parents and the entire FUTA community she added, “We sincerely cannot appreciate you enough for the unending love and care you have showered on us and all the sacrifices you made to give us a befitting education.
We pray that God will grant you grace and long life in perfect health to reap the fruit of your labour over us in Jesus’ name.”
Journey to success just starting
She reminded her colleagues that as they celebrate this significant milestone, “let us look to the future with hope, determination, and a commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Congratulations, Class of 2021! Our journey at FUTA may be ending, but our journey to greatness has only just begun”