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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

20 year old Covenant University student breaks record after rededicating his life

The Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, organised the 6th convocation for 1,263 graduates last Friday.
Victor Ubong, emerged the all-time best graduate of the university that got its operational license on Febrauary 12, 2002, with a Cumulative Grade Point Average record of 4.99 out of a possible 5.0.

When Mr. Victor Ubong gained admission to Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, to pursue a degree course in Accounting, nobody knew he would emerge as the best graduating student. This is because as a secondary school pupil, he struggled to pass. He sometimes crammed his notes and when this failed, he resorted to cheating. Even at this, he was just an average pupil, who managed to pass his West African Senior Secondary School Examination in 2007. So, for those who knew him then, it was a surprise that Ubong emerged not just as the best graduating student during the 2011 convocation of the university, but as the all-time best graduate of the institution. He did not only pass out with a first class degree, he did it in style by obtaining a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.99 out of a possible 5.0. By this, he has created a new record as the all-time best student to have graduated from the institution, established in 2002.

Ubong was the cynosure of all eyes that attended the ninth convocation of the university last Friday as the auditorium erupted with joy immediately he was called to the podium by the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aize Obayan, to receive the award from the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo. Other graduates rose up waving their mortarboards in celebration of the brainy young man.

Parents and well wishers stood up clapping for the graduate born in Ibom-Ibiono, a village in Akwa Ibom State, 20 years ago. He stood smiling, waving his hand to the crowd in appreciation of their applause.

Narrating his academic journey, Ubong, who completed his secondary school education at Stars International College, Ikorodu, Lagos State, said he never thought he could ever achieve his heart desires without cheating until he came to CU.

“My secondary school days from JSS 2 up to SS2 were days of struggling academically. I was not so brilliant. I did not even know what it meant for people to read and just understand without cramming. You could say I relied on cramming in order to pass my exams. I knew this way of life was not the best, but I didn’t have any choice, and in cases where the cramming did not work, I cheated, I didn’t see anything wrong in cheating. I saw it as a means of survival,” he said.

However, after enrolling at CU in 2007, Ubong said the Christian environment influenced his personality and view towards life. “Immediately I got to CU, I just felt something different about the environment. The thought of cheating just disappeared out of my mind, and finally in 2007 I gave my life to Jesus.

“After my rededication to Jesus, I promised my dad and myself that I would be the best graduating student.”

Speaking with our correspondent after the convocation where 1,263 students were awarded various degrees, out of which 89 had a first class, Ubong said that he actually planned to graduate with a first class degree the very day he gained admission to the institution.

“I never knew that I would set a new record. I owe it all to God. I prayed for it. Making a GPA of 4.99 took a lot of hard work. I kept my eyes on that goal and resisted every distraction, even relationships. I didn’t have any girlfriend throughout my university days. I had to work extra hard whenever we had group assignments because I knew my goals and I was not willing to allow any unserious group member to bring me down,” he said.

Ubong also hinged his performance on the stiff competition he received from his course mates.

“My 100 Level was the most strenuous. I used to study for 18 hours in a day. This was very tasking. However, after some time, I met a group of friends, they were four in number, we then formed a study group which made it easier for us. With the group, I only had to study for three hours. As the Bible says one shall chase a thousand, and two, ten thousand. From that period of synergy up to our final year, we were also scoring a CGPA of 5.0 every semester. Four of us even emerged as the best graduating students in our various departments. I was just so blessed to meet them,”he said.

Asked if he would love to pick up a career in the nation’s university system, he said, “Yes, I intend to become a professor because I am a born teacher. I grew up to love teaching and imparting knowledge to others. My dad is an accountant, I guess that’s where the passion for the profession came from. I also hope to pick up some professional courses to improve my professional knowledge.”

Ubong, who identified corruption as the nation’s major challenge said, “If the problem of corruption is solved, every other problem will be solved because righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach. We need the fear of God in Nigeria. We need to practise what we preach. Nigeria is a country that has the potential to survive on her own, the resources are there, but because of bad governance – leaders who are self-centred, Nigeria has been struggling. But I refuse to give up, I know change is coming to Nigeria, especially with the emergence of our generation. We are the new generation of leaders, capable of restoring the lost dignity. We are the light of Nigeria, and youths must see these in themselves.”

Meanwhile, Ubong, who sees hard work, fear of God, respect for others, punctuality, independence, hatred for mediocrity and simplicity as core virtues, urged undergraduates to be focussed and diligent if they must succeed in their studies.

“They can make it. They just need to be focussed and trust in the Lord with all their hearts and lean not unto their own understanding. In all their ways, they should acknowledge Him and He shall direct their paths. They should also remember that a diligent man will always stand before kings, and not before mean men,” he said.

However, 89 other graduates made first class, 663 obtained second class upper division while the remaining 449 made second class lower.

The chancellor had in his speech congratulated the graduating students and urged them to forge new paths in life to achieve success.

“Go forth and live the Covenant University vision running with our seven core values and making a difference. Remember, a good name is better than silver and gold. Nothing preserves like integrity and nothing dignifies like probity. Capacity may take anyone up, only character can keep him there,” he said.

Oyedepo ended his speech with a known fact that it was essential the graduates stood for something, or else they would fall for anything.

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