Palms were jammed in resounding applause and gazes fixed upon Onifade Bello AbdurRahman, a media volunteer at The Transverse, as he won the 2017 Junior Chamber International Most Outstanding Person in Student Leadership Award. Bello is a final-year student of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of Ibadan and the immediate past Speaker of the institution’s, now suspended, Students’ Representative Council. He is also the author of the soon-to-be-released book, “Student Unionism in Nigeria: Challenges and Strategies.”
The award ceremony was held on Friday evening at the Arts Theatre, University of Ibadan, with many dignitaries and past winners in attendance. Other nominees for the student leadership award included Chiamaka Ogueri, former President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students, University of Ibadan, and Ojo Olakorode Jacob, President of the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association (UIMSA).
Bello, in describing how he felt about the award, said it was a privilege, which he believes the other nominated students also deserved. “I feel greatly honoured to have been privileged in the chosen category. My colleagues with whom I was nominated deserved the award too because they have made sterling impacts in their various capacities,” he said.
“I am humbled and see it as a catalyst to be more dedicated in whatever capacity I am privileged to serve people. Thanks to JCI for the recognition and award too.”
The Junior Chamber International Fifteen Outstanding Persons Awards was established in 1997, then known as the Five Outstanding Persons Award. It is a prestigious event looked forward to annually, used to reward excellent performances among students of the University of Ibadan in leadership, journalism, entertainment, entrepreneurship among other fields.
Previous winners in the Student Leadership category include Tokunbo Salako, former President of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union, Arogundade Toheeb, former Speaker of the Students’ Representative Council and Balogun Niniola Toheeb, Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) JCC, Oyo state.