By Abdulrasheed Akere
In 2017, Bankole Ridwanullahi Ameenullahi sat for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) where he scored 225. The mark prompted him to apply for Civil Engineering at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), but his course was changed to Statistics when the university released the admission list.
Bankole, 25, an indigene of Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state was surprised when his course was changed to Statistics. He didn’t know there is a course called Statistics in university aside from the mean, median, mode that he was taught in secondary school mathematics.
Nevertheless, Bankole (popularly known as Baba STA) journeyed to Sokoto state for the first time to pursue a degree in the new course. “I arrived late to UDUS that year, even though the C. A test was about to begin because I got third-batch admission. I tried to fall in love with my course and Alhamdulillah at last, I am now a Statistician,” he expressed.
Though Baba STA had it in mind to graduate with flying colours, he was scared by other students that he couldn’t graduate with first class. “Many students used to tell me that Statistics is not an easy course. They also told me the history of a Statistics student that dropped out of school because of CGPA. This made me think I couldn’t achieve it but with Allah’s help l achieved it,” he narrated.
However, his first-class journey started with a 4.26 CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of 5.0 grading system in the 100 level. His CGPA increased to 4.44 in the 200 level, and 4.51 in the 300 level and finally graduated with a 4.55 CGPA.
Baba STA felt fulfilled for being a first-class graduate. “It is a dream come true, we used to sing a song in secondary school that ‘when the scholars are matching on, I want to be among the scholars when the scholars are matching on’. I am happy that I am now among the scholars of my faculty and the university as a whole,” he said happily.
Check shows that Baba STA is the only first-class graduate in his 2020/2021 set and he emerged as the best-graduating student in the whole Faculty of Physical and Computing Sciences. The last time Statistics produced first-class graduates was five years ago (half a decade).
Academic Biography of Baba STA
Baba STA who was born and bred in Ilorin attended Gbemisola L.G.E.A School Ilorin Kwara State, where he attained his first leaving school certificate. He obtained his secondary school certificate from Barakat Community secondary school Ilorin Kwara State.
He furthered his education to Kwara State Polytechnics between 2014 to 2016 where he obtained Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Civil Engineering with 3.46 upper credit.
He underwent Industrial Training (I.T) at BAL Construction Film Ilorin, Kwara State and Samura Global Concept (SGC) Ilorin, Kwara State where he gained knowledge of many constructions like bridges, railways, culverts and highway construction.
No One Encourages Me With Any Prize — Baba STA
Baba STA bemoaned that despite graduating with the apex of class degree in a difficult course [Statistics] from one of the hardest universities in Africa [UDUS], he didn’t receive any prize from anybody.
“No one encourages me with any prize. Seriously, there is no encouragement for the best students in UDUS which is totally bad. The management needs to do something about it because it is not easy to attain third-class not to talk of first-class,” he complained.
He explained that “The University of Ilorin always treats their scholars well which gives a good name and pride to the institution for encouraging their students. They don’t mind the expenses because they value the developmental outcome of it.”
Baba STA Contributes to UDUS Community
During his undergraduate, Baba STA created a platform named Baba Sta Data Analysis Platform (BASDAP) where he teaches students how to analyze data by using statistical tools like SPSS, Minitab and R-code.
Also, he collaborated with other like-minds to create Standard Deviation Tutorial (SDT), a tutorial class where they teach students mathematics, physics, chemistry and other calculation courses. The platform has helped several students to overcome their challenges in calculation courses.
Advice to Undergraduate Students
Baba said, “Students should endeavour to always start reading whenever lectures begin, this will help them to understand the material concepts before the examination.”
“Everyone can graduate with a good certificate, it depends on what one has in mind. Undergraduates should not let academics put them away from religion. Being a good worshiper is a necessity to attain excellence,” he asserted.
Abdulrasheed Akere is a 300-level student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS). He can be reached via email@example.com.