Innocent Mistake or Incompetence?

Primary and secondary school was about competition. We wanted to personalize the first position in class, and we became unhappy whenever anyone beat us to the prize. Move forward a couple of years; life in the university was very different.

 Of course, there was still some competition, but different individuals had different goals. It was no longer all about academics.

In the university, we learnt to recognize those students whose devotion to academics made every course appear ridiculously simple. People like Ademola Oridate who scored 90+ in courses where many managed to reach 50. Naturally, at the 40th Convocation Ceremonies of Obafemi Awolowo University, when he was recognized as the University’s best graduating student, we were proud of our classmate for putting our course in the spotlight.

Every time a reputable Nigerian university has its convocation, the Punch Newspaper carries a story informing the public of the identity of the best graduating student. The report usually contains excerpts from an interview with the graduate.

As is my daily custom, I visited the Punch website to check the latest news. When I saw an article titled “I read six hours daily –OAU’s best graduate”, I quickly clicked on it, thinking it was about my boy “Demo”. Surprisingly the article did not mention Ademola Oridate, but erroneously recognized Shakirat Oyindolapo Shittu as OAU’s best graduating student.

I do not intend to take anything away from Ms. Shittu. She performed awesomely, clearing 12 awards in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences to become the best graduating student in that faculty. Her plethora of awards won her the University’s award for “The best overall student with the highest number of prizes”. However, Ademola Ayodeji Oridate received the award for “Overall best graduating student in the University” with a CGPA of 4.88/5.0. It must be noted that unlike the Faculty of Clinical Sciences that has a large number of awards up for grabs, the Department of Mechanical Engineering does not have any award for any of its individual courses. If it had, Ademola would likely have been in contention for Shakirat’s award. The “coco” is that she won the highest number of prizes but he was the best graduating student. Full stop!

It is amazing how the Punch could have made such a mistake when anyone with access to the Convocation brochure could see the awards clearly. I expect such a reputable newspaper to have a system of checks and balances to authenticate the correctness of any information.

Whether it was an innocent mistake or demeaning incompetence, I expect the Punch to correct its error through a rejoinder, and a new report including an interview with the “real best”. Some of my classmates and I have already emailed the Punch editor and made contact via phone calls. We are waiting for them to fix it.

Please give us a chance to “famz” our colleague.
Cheers to Ademola Oridate! He reminds me of myself in a previous lifetime.

5 thoughts on “Innocent Mistake or Incompetence?”

  1. I understand your concern bro and I also picked that error immediately I saw the news headline. But I also have other concerns with your write up:
    1. Faculty of Technology have more prizes than Faculty of Clinical Sciences (You can re-checked the convocation brochure to verify) so comparing Faculty of Clinical Sciences with Department of Mechanical Engineering is a wrong approach. Rather, you should compare Clinical Sciences and Technology.
    2. Oridate and one other guy(not with my brochure so I can verify the name) from Faculty of Science both made 4.88 CGPA and jointly won the best graduating student. The other guy’s name was not written in my own copy of the brochure(not sure if that is thesame for all) under the University prize list but I vividly remembered that he was called and awarded along with Oridate on the convocation day.
    3. Punch made a big mistake. Dr Shittu is not OAU best graduating student rather she was the student with the highest number of prize. The mistake should be corrected, there should be a rejoinder and they should even apologise to the two best graduating students.
    Well done bro for the effort you have made so far at pointing out this media incompetency.


    1. Adedayo Temitope. The students of clinical sciences are not linked to any particular department (to the best of my knowledge), so my comparison is in order. I compared the awards available in the faculty of clinical sciences to those of the dept of mechanical engineering. The bulk of the awards you saw listed under Faculty of Technology are not available for contention by mechanical engineering students. The award wasn’t shared. The brochure would’ve indicated that.

      Check this link:

      The other guy that was called out was recognised because he was the best in the department of economics. The Tony Elumelu Foundation recognises the best economics student. I’m not sure of his cgpa


  2. The guy with that was called out whose name was not in the brochure was Omoetan Monday Olatan from the dept of Chemistry, Faculty of Science 2012/2013 session.


  3. Faculty of clinical science as well as law could be described as one big single dept. These faculties do not have distinct depts but specialzed units. This makes faculty of clinical sciences quite different from faculty of technology. If fac of tech was like clinical sci then oridate would ve capture most of the prizes if not all. But that is Oridate’s luck for studyin engineering n not medicine. The foolish mistake by Punch should be rectified with immediate effect. It is too costly to overlook. The editor should be sued for committing such a blunder. Next time he will apply quality control on information obtained.


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