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How I Bagged Distinction, Emerged Best In UNILAG Despite OAU’s Disappointment – AbdulQudus Ojomo

iWitness Editorial Contributor and  General Secretary of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Bariga Central Branch, AbdulQudus Ojomo, shares how he bagged distinction in Pharmacology from the University of Lagos in this interview with Najmudeen Mustopha

• Please kindly tell us about yourself

My name is Qudus Abiola Ojomo. I am a native of Lagos, from Alimosho LGA and an Awori indigene. I am married with two kids and currently the General Secretary of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Bariga Central Branch.

• How do you feel towards your recent success of bagging first class in your Master’s Degree?

I am delightful. It’s a feat that I yearned for. Alhamdulilah, Allah crowned it with success by making me graduate with distinction and the best in my department.

• Which institution did you bag your Master’s degree in? And what course did you study?

College of Medicine, University of Lagos. I studied Pharmacology.

• Did you also graduate with First Class in your first degree?

No. My first degree was a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife. I indeed felt a bit disappointed that I did not graduate with a distinction from Ife. I had distinctions up till my third year until one of my papers was ‘miraculously’ missing in my fourth year which later made me resit the exam. So, I felt a bit disappointed. But, Alhamdulillah it’s all the past now. I also graduated with distinction from Lagos State Polytechnic (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology) in 2011.

• What were the major challenges you came across and how did you overcome them?

The major challenge with my Master’s education is the combination of work with it. Masters of Science in Pharmacology is a full-time programme which is very intense with a workload in the first semester. We had classes via zoom up till 11 pm sometimes.
Funding is another major challenge, especially with my project work. Alhamdulilah, I won a research grant (ABISA Research Fellowship) which helps defray a part of the cost of my project work. I am also indebted to my Muslim brothers who also supported me at various stages of my study.

• As a dedicated Muslim, can you claim that your spirituality contributed to this success?

Yes. Indeed, it is with Allah’s mercy that I completed this program. Along the way, while the ASUU strike was on, I resumed work with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. I am grateful to Allah for letting my bosses allow me to conclude the program when the strike was called off.

• Can you mention other factors that contributed to this success?
My drive to be a good ambassador of Islam is another major factor in my success. Also, my family, especially my wife kept the home running despite my busy schedule.

• How were you able to balance your religious activism with academics?
I have had the opportunity to combine my academics with religious activism since my days in LASPOTECH. I was trained to believe that if you do Allah’s work (Da’wah), He will surely assist you beyond your capabilities. I was the BGS at LASPOTECH (3.72/4.0) while occupying the position of the General Secretary of the MSSN LASPOTECH for the three campuses. Now, I have achieved the same feat at my Master’s level (4.78/5.0) while being an active member of the MSSN.

• What is your advice for other Muslim faithful concerning diligence towards academics?
First is that they should believe in themselves. You can achieve anything with Allah’s help and the sky is your beginning. They should remember the hadith of the Prophet: “Knowledge is the lost property of a Muslim, wherever he sees it, then he is more worthy of it”.
Lastly, they should be prayerful and always observe the limits of their Creator.

• What is next after this success of yours?

The future is in Allah’s hands. I love academics and I am willing to pursue it to the PhD level. I want to become a tenure-track professor of Pharmacology with the ability to conduct cutting-edge research in neuropharmacology and cancer pharmacology.


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