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Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Preator: 1:59pm On Sep 17, 2015
Ruth Idi Okpoto, do you still remember her? She is the deaf university student who graduated as the best student in her Faculty of Education, at the University of Ilorin, in 2009, and whose story once made the cover of the Education Review. But the shocking part of the story is that six years after topping her class, the lady who is now married and answers Ruth Omopariola-Bolarinwa is yet to get a job despite promises upon promises, none of which has materialised and are unlikely to do so, unless something, somewhere gives way.

In this heart-rending account, the mother of one child, through a sobering email sent to Education Review pleading with it to bring her plight to the attention of the public, tells the trauma she’s been through all these years and why she wants University of Ilorin, government agencies, parastatals and private companies like ExxonMobil, Glo, MTN, Etisalat, Airtel, to come to her rescue. Excerpts:

“To set the record straight I am not a deaf-mute. Not all deaf people are dummies. I am a bilingual deaf person with a mild hearing loss. I became deaf in 1997 at the age of 15 while in SS 1 at Dairy Farm Secondary School, Lagos. I have already acquired language proficiency before the sickness that caused my hearing loss started then. After the illness, I discovered I couldn’t hear very well whenever people talk to me unless I read their lips. Despite this hearing difficulty, I continued my education at the school.

“At a point, I confided in the Vice Principal (Academic) Deaconess Afolabi but she didn’t believe me because according to her I could speak and hear her. She decided to check my academic records but was surprised to realize how brilliant I was as a deaf person. From there, she showed interest in me and adopted me. She later introduced me to her husband – Pastor Toye Afolabi. They supported me to further my education at Kwara State College of Education, Oro, in 1999, after the completion of my SSCE. I lived and grew up under their loving care for more than 15 years till I got married in 2011.

“When I got admissions into University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), they encouraged and supported me. I did not even know sign language then but I excelled at the College where I studied Agriculture. I did my IT at the Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority without the help of any interpreter. I have a good rapport with people. Some people think I am pretending to be deaf whenever I tell them about it because of the way I relate with them. I didn’t attend any special school but I learnt the skill of sign language while teaching at Christian Mission School for the Deaf at Ibadan in 2003.

“I am physically, mentally, emotionally and morally sound, and very assertive. I love interacting with people but I don’t like to be taken for granted. Intellectually, I like reading and researching. I also love playing football. Mind you, I am still playing football even now as a nursing mother. My friend used to call me Tomboy in those days because I like doing what boys do. I love tasks that challenge my intellect. My husband and I have similar condition. He is deaf but he can speak English fluently. We are both qualified graduates from University of Ilorin. He is, at present, working with Ogun State Teachers Service Commission.

“I scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.45. That was the score I saw on the result sheet in the first semester of my final year. After the completion of my study I graduated with a second class honour (Upper Division).

“On the efforts made so far to get a good job, I had wanted to work with the University of Ilorin. There is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education, I was so fond of her even till today. Leaving her was, indeed, a difficult challenge for me. The affection I have for her made my desire to work in the university stronger and that was what motivated me to do my NYSC in the institution. The lecturer is now a professor. I was then lucky to serve at the newly established Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS) headed by her (Prof. Olasehinde Williams). Before the completion of my NYSC, I wrote a letter requesting to be retained but got no response then.

“After the completion of my one mandatory youth service, I continued to apply for job whenever the university released vacancies. I think I have done so thrice. The former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, was making attempt to employ me based on my application which was submitted to him in 2012/2013. I later learnt that he was about to do that before his tenure expired. I wrote a letter explaining the situation to the new Vice Chancellor (Prof. Ambali) in 2013 and, in fact, re-applied last year but the vacancy was put on hold.

“Another opportunity came when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan gave disabled people employment opportunity in 2013. I joined others to apply and traveled with my husband to Abuja for the interview in November. My daughter was just seven months old when I embarked on the journey with her. The selection process was based on our qualification and I had the faith that I would be selected since I was the only applicant with second class honour (Upper Division) among the deaf applicants from Ondo State. I was disappointed when my name did not appear on the list of those shortlisted due to what I will call “connection, godfatherism and tribalism syndrome” which has become a social norm in Nigeria as far as employment is concerned. If the Ondo Commissioner had selected us based on merit, there is no way I would not be qualified since there was no written test or oral interview.

“My surname, Okpoto, must have affected me because that was the name on my credentials but having married a man from that state the Commissioner should have considered me qualified. I regretted not applying through the Delta State Commission as I would have been given the job then. The most painful aspect of this experience was the refusal by the Commissioner to give my husband, an indigene of the state, his posting/appointment letter. Initially, his name was on the list but was later short-changed with someone else known to the Commissioner.

“Another instance where tribalism and connection really affected me was at the Lagos State Scholarship Board exam in 2004/2005. The then governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had forwarded my application for oversea scholarship to the board for immediate action. The Director of the board (Mr. Badmus) told me that I was not born in Lagos because of my surname (Okpoto). I told him I was born and bred in Lagos but he refused to treat the letter. The institution abroad (Rochester Institute of Technology), had awarded me scholarship for only tuition fee but I could not raise funds to cover other expenses. Life is indeed full of experiences but I will never give up.
“As noted above, a situation where political connection, godfatherism and tribalism are used as yardsticks for recruitment is psychologically and emotionally disturbing. Imagine the stress I passed through traveling to Abuja from Ibadan with a seven-month old baby for the civil service interview. This is too bad! But I believe that life goes on! Things will change for the better now that President Muhammad Buhari is making effort to sanitize the system. The Disability Rights Bill is long overdue. The President should, please, assent to the bill to protect the employment and fundamental rights of persons with disabilities.

“At the moment I am living with my husband and managing to work as employee of Parent Teachers Association in a school in Ogun State. The monthly take-home pay is meagre. But what more can I do? I have tried so many places without any result. Everywhere I go, some people would ask some funny questions like “you are from where?” “You do not look like a Yoruba”, “Your father’s name is an Igbo name.” Deafness is another barrier as the society does not want to employ deaf and disabled people. They usually experience employment discriminations due to their disability. But disability is not inability! There is nothing the deaf cannot do. The only difference between us and our hearing counterparts is our inability to hear which in my own case is partial. The society especially employers of labour should know that deafness is not an insurmountable barrier to success. I can teach. I can lead. I can do mathematical calculations etc. What is more? Let the society try us first and see what we can do.

“I can work in government ministries, agencies and parastatals as well as private companies in administrative capacity. My computer skill is also an added advantage. As a holder of first degree in Educational Guidance and Counseling, I can provide counseling service for young people. Apart from the university job, I can work in oil companies like ExxonMobil or in telecommunication companies like GLO, MTN, Etisalat or Airtel, in the area of computer operation, data processing and network or in any other administrative duty that may be assigned to me.

“I am still searching for a good job and I am pleading with the University of Ilorin management to help me. I don’t think the University has abandoned me. I guess the new Vice Chancellor is not aware of the fact that I served at the university and I am not sure if he received my appeal letter. The former Vice Chancellor was working on my application before his tenure ended in 2013, so I think the new Vice Chancellor in the person of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali should reopen my case as regarding employment. I appreciate my parent/pastor Deacon Toye Afolabi, Prof Alasehinde Williams, Prof. Omotosho, Prof Adegoke, Dr. Esere etc for their efforts in assisting me.

“To be honest with you, having good job will make it possible for me to achieve my goals and give back to society. It is my dream to become a lecturer so with good job I will be able to save money to further my education. I need to go back to school for my masters and PHD. I also want to set up an NGO that will empower disabled people especially young ones that are not educable to acquire vocational skills that will make them self-reliant and to contribute meaningfully to the growth of their fatherland rather than roaming the streets and begging for money. An adage says: “if you give a child a fish, you feed him for a day. But if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. I want to assist young people to have the financial muscles to feed themselves for a lifetime. I also have a business plan in mind but there is no money to get started. I believe with good job I can achieve all these.”
http://sunnewsonline.com/new/best-graduating-student-jobless/

16 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by yorke1: 2:03pm On Sep 17, 2015
News that came out since yesterday. Na now you just dey see am

The situation in the land is pathetic. Nobody gives a shit about you until you made it.

FTC: I dedicate this to all the jobless people on this forum. Don't give up...after rain comes sunshine.
And who says it doesn't feel cool to be the FTC

19 Likes 1 Share

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by goldenceo1: 2:13pm On Sep 17, 2015
He who laff last laff best. Weeping may endure in d night but joy cometh in d morning.

Modified: Neva knew this my book of bible story write up would hit front page. Back to d bone of contention here mi still can't find a gud reason why d op would choose to talk about her deficiency instead of her strength.

10 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by timilehing(m): 2:16pm On Sep 17, 2015
Your time is coming

4 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 2:42pm On Sep 17, 2015
My dear,the country is not fair

9 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by jazinogold(m): 3:33pm On Sep 17, 2015
hmmm



how I wished academic success equates being successful in life!

24 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by ignis: 3:33pm On Sep 17, 2015
This article is too long

4 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Ahmed0336(m): 3:54pm On Sep 17, 2015
Even Uni ilorin no fit retain her? Dis is serious!!!!

15 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Preator: 3:55pm On Sep 17, 2015
yorke1:
News that came out since yesterday. Na now you just dey see am
Yea, na now I see am.
I posted it because I do empathize with her. In the days of Prof. Oloyede, she would have been given a job as the man rewards excellence. However, the current management seems not to appreciate academic excellence again. They did advertised a recruitment exercise In 2013 and not a single of the first class graduates in my faculty was called for interview (don't even know if anyone was called at all) yet new staff were recruited. You then ask urself, why go through the stress of getting a good grade when its seems to be about who you know?

8 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Sharon6(f): 4:01pm On Sep 17, 2015
Wow! This lady needs to be helped. Disability is not inability.


CHECK MY SIGNATURE. GET RID OF STRETCH MARKS.

3 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Estorico: 4:08pm On Sep 17, 2015
My dear University of Ilorin might be one of the best in Nigeria in terms of standard, but there is just something behind that school. I have seen top Nigerians in Government and all other good companies came out from ABU, UNIBEN, UNILAG, OAU, U.I, even UNIPORT, UNN but how many top people in government or other good companies are from Unilorin? Its as if there is something behind that school. You read,they frustrate you and the frustration continues even after graduation except God intervenes.Apart from the current Kwara state governor that graduated from there,i don't know of anyone neither have i seen any in top places that came out from Unilorin. I am not surprised at that op's complaints cause that is just how it is. @ op,hope and trust in God alone,for He will surely make a way.

43 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by bollyano(f): 4:29pm On Sep 17, 2015
i am very sure as you put this out, you are getting a job.

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 4:42pm On Sep 17, 2015
EVERYTHING IN NIGERIA IS GOING TO KILL YOU

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by sawyer89: 4:44pm On Sep 17, 2015
Estorico:
My dear University of Ilorin might be one of the best in Nigeria in terms of standard, but there is just something behind that school. I have seen top Nigerians in Government and all other good companies came out from ABU, UNIBEN, UNILAG, OAU, U.I, even UNIPORT, UNN but how many top people in government or other good companies are from Unilorin? Its as if there is something behind that school. You read,they frustrate you and the frustration continues even after graduation except God intervenes.Apart from the current Kwara state governor that graduated from there,i don't know of anyone neither have i seen any in top places that came out from Unilorin. I am not surprised at that op's complaints cause that is just how it is. @ op,hope and trust in God alone,for He will surely make a way.

This is untrue. There are a lot of University of Ilorin graduates occupying top positions in the corporate world. Of notable mentions are Mr Babs Omotowa (The managing director of NLNG), Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq (Group Executive Director, Finance & Services of NNPC), Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran (Group Executive Director, Commercial & Investment of NNPC) and others too numerous to mention. In recent times, Unilorin students and graduates have been employed as analysts and interns in top notch companies like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, London.
You can't compare the influence of ABU, UI and OAU graduates with that of University of Ilorin because they are first generation universities and were established years before University of Ilorin was founded. But Unilorin graduates are not doing badly.

It's a pity Prof Oloyede's tenure elapsed before he could conclude Ruth's recruitment. I pray luck and favor shine on you soonest. I respect and admire your tenacity and focus.

55 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by dedons: 4:57pm On Sep 17, 2015
Madam sorry ooo.

I'm also a 2:1 graduate.

I need a job.

7 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 5:23pm On Sep 17, 2015
BELIEVE ME, THAT GIRL IS GETTING MOUTH WATERING JOB OFFERS BEFORE THIS WEEK RUNS OUT

13 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Lordseyad(m): 5:44pm On Sep 17, 2015
AwesomelyMade:
BELIEVE ME, THAT GIRL IS GETTING MOUTH WATERING JOB OFFERS BEFORE THIS WEEK RUNS OUT
Amen

17 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by osesology(m): 6:36pm On Sep 17, 2015
AwesomelyMade:
BELIEVE ME, THAT GIRL IS GETTING MOUTH WATERING JOB OFFERS BEFORE THIS WEEK RUNS OUT
I'll say ``AMEN' to that.

10 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Chuksemi(m): 6:37pm On Sep 17, 2015
Nice strategy, lemme call her now.

1 Like

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 6:39pm On Sep 17, 2015
OrangeDream:
My dear,the country is not fair



Pls bleach life for us!

1 Like

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by akatekpe(m): 7:24pm On Sep 17, 2015
dedons:
Madam sorry ooo.


I'm also a 2:1 graduate.


I need a job.
hmmm...we r plenty oo. October 15, it wu be 10years after graduation with 2.1, I have been managing only teaching job with a peanut take home

8 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by funkyglitz: 7:43pm On Sep 17, 2015
Hmmmmmm what a story!!! First and foremost we all may not be the best graduating students but still on a job hunt and lukin 4 a highly lucrative job I see no reason y her case is different from any oda graduate apart from her skul didn't retain her, mabi she wants a fed govt job cos she wz able to strive through the difficult hurdles in skul...

4 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by abbeywasc(m): 7:46pm On Sep 17, 2015
AwesomelyMade:
BELIEVE ME, THAT GIRL IS GETTING MOUTH WATERING JOB OFFERS BEFORE THIS WEEK RUNS OUT
i hope so oo
cc lalasticlala
Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by abumeinben(m): 8:03pm On Sep 17, 2015
Mehn to finish with 1st class in Faculty of Education, let alone best graduating, nor be china fone o.

Thought there was gender and diversity equality in this country

1 Like

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Babalawoo: 8:42pm On Sep 17, 2015
What a sad story, but she was definitely no best graduating student in the university as they want us to believe abi na which year 2.1 student be best graduating student. Maybe (most likely) she was the best grad student in her dept. The uni can't employ all best students even if they all have first class EXCEPT THERE'S VACANCY

2 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by jaybee104(m): 8:49pm On Sep 17, 2015
Nice article. So touching
Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 9:44pm On Sep 17, 2015
Before you start shouting, which course did u go for sef, Agric Many students who went to study Agric are biting their finger in regret so, she should rather go back and study a good cause.
Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Bsmartt(m): 9:56pm On Sep 17, 2015
I think this deserves the Front page so that She can be heard by the necessary organizations /Government
Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 10:14pm On Sep 17, 2015
SirWere:
Before you start shouting, which course did u go for sef, Agric Many students who went to study Agric are biting their finger in regret so, she should rather go back and study a good cause.


pls Sir Kindly tell us 'THE GOOD COURSE TO STUDY' undecided

4 Likes

Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Ghost01(m): 10:17pm On Sep 17, 2015
This is one 'dead' country!
Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 11:03pm On Sep 17, 2015
It is well
Re: Unilorin Best Graduating Student Jobless After 6years by Nobody: 11:22pm On Sep 17, 2015
zleemshaddy:


pls Sir Kindly tell us 'THE GOOD COURSE TO STUDY' undecided
Any course which is actually practicable and realistic in Nigeria, sir.

2 Likes

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