There has been pervasive euphoria permeating social media after Abibat Owolabi was announced at the ongoing convocation of the University of Ibadan as the best master’s student.
According to Professor Jonathan Babalola, the institution’s Dean of Postgraduate School, Abibat who was a postgraduate student at the Department of Botany, finished atop the 2018 Class with perfect 7.0 CGPA.
In an exclusive chat with The Transverse, Abibat who expressed her gratitude to Almighty Allah, stated that she felt amazed with the feat; noting that it was all Allah’s doing.
According to the scholar, she never envisioned the feat from the outset but “started planning and working towards it since the day” she “heard that one might get a fully funded scholarship for PhD in UI” if one finishes with a perfect CGPA.
Stating that her area of specialisation is Plant Pathology, Abibat disclosed that she intends to channel her skills and knowledge towards improved crop production and eradication of diseases associated with food production.
She equally intends to contribute to the development of bio-control agents as an alternative to synthetic fungicides which are known to have residual effects. This will make food readily available and in large quantities in Nigeria and the global community.
While it is believed that most people with sterling feats have inclination towards working in the academia, Abibat stated that her interest inclines more with working as a researcher with a view to developing new things especially in places like the World Health Organisation.
“I will really love to be a researcher, working and developing new things. Lecturing is my second option and I actually like impacting too,” she said.
Encouraging Nigerian youths to always believe in themselves and never to leave out God, noting that “there is nothing you can’t achieve if you set your mind to it,” she emphasised that “hard work really pays; and don’t forget to play at the right time.”
“I play a lot. I watch movies and I crochet well,” she added.
It is hoped that the Oyo State Government whose plans seem to have priority for diversification of the economy through agriculture will be keen to sponsor her for doctorate degree in this area.
If opportune to be sponsored to the highest level of her education, she plans to gain “practical skills in sustainable agriculture” which can help stimulate the progress of the state and Nigeria.