Kwara Poly expels 4 students, rusticates 6 for exam fraud, Impersonation

By Sheriff Ibrahim

In many instance, I marvel at how people mistake my nickname – Gold for my surname. For emphasis sake, I am IBRAHIM Sheriff Akanji by name, a boy whom the 50 years old Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin made the ‘Gold’ out of. It then suffice to say that the technologically innovative citadel of learning is indeed a ‘Goldmine’, where raw golds like myself were discovered.

It will thus only be appropriate for anyone who holds the values and virtues of appreciation in high esteem, to appreciate the ground in which gold is mined, for without the resourcefulness of the land, there would be nothing to be refined by the goldsmiths or admired by those whom the element is useful. Even though some of us were refined in some other institutions of learning, we would never be ashamed of the root of our tertiary education and the values it instilled in us.

In 2008, after attempting O’level for about three times and opted for a job as sales representative at a fuel station in Ilorin, to while away time, I sat for another polytechnic JAMB. There was nothing like UTME, polytechnic, monotechnic and colleges of education applicants would write monotechnic, polytechnic and COED matriculation examination (MPCE), while University applicants would opt for University Matriculation Examination (UME). Because I still had deficiency in my O’level, I opted for the polytechnic, as my passed subject combination won’t get me admitted into my desired course at the University. In fact, I wasn’t sure Kwara Poly was going to admit me, too.

Many thanks to my late father’s Batonu friend, Mr. Umar Gunu, a staff of the Polytechnic who, when I wasn’t considered for my preferred course – Public administration, advise I consider a diploma course because of the deficiency in my result.

In the then Institute of Administration (IOA) (later fused with Institute of Basic and Vocational Studies (IBVS) to make IFMS), there were three diploma programs; Legal studies, cooperative studies and social works. I was considered for Cooperative studies because of my subject combination. It wasn’t my preference but I was determined, like always, to make the best out of whatever providence brings my way.

About 2weeks after my resumption, Mrs. Bodunrin, one of our earliest lecturer conducted an election for class representative. Olabode Shadare who later became my best friend was my contender 😂 in the secret ballot election where she told us to face the wall while the class voted. I became the class representative and that marked my first leadership exposure, as I was never a prefect during my basic and secondary school days.

In the wake of the 2009/2010 Students’ Union Government elections of the Polytechnic, I got tipped by some of my colleagues to contest the SUG Vice Presidency, being the highest ranking position zoned to our institute, IOA. The Presidency was zoned to IOT, which was off the main campus, leaving the VP position to be highly contentious. During consultations, I got lots of discouragements premised on the fact that no one my department, been a diploma awarding one, has never contested at the Kwara poly SUG level and that it was impossible for me to make it.

I dig further to be sure whether it was a matter of constitutional disallowance but found out it was merely a case of inferiority complex, imposed on the department simply because it was a diploma awarding one. I dared to break the jinx, against all odds. I contested against two other aspirants from Public Administration department that has always maintained the exclusive right over SUG positions zoned to IOA; Baba Kobi and my dear brother, who today is the Personal Assistant to the Minister of Interior, Comr. Ishola Olateju.

I emerged the Vice President, having satisfied academic and political conditions to occupy the seat, in the then delegate SUG election. In that year, I did not only break record as the first elected SUG official from cooperative studies department, I was also the youngest SUG executive.

Many thanks to my leaders, Comr. Akanbi Kayode Abdulganiyu (Ewe) and Comr. Olaitan Usman, who were my major torchbearers. I can’t also forget the wise counsel of Comr. Yusuf Oleole, Sen. Obama and Adunmo, who were incumbent SUG President and Secretary, including Comr. Ahmed, who was one of SRCs that elected us, among several other notable contributors.

Needless going into the intrigues that ensued during our administration, it is worth mentioning that the ‘Gold’ was made out of me during my year of service at Kwara Poly SUG. My campaign nickname was Sheffygold, which majority later pronounce as ‘Sheriff Gold’. I successfully crafted my niche as a young political enthusiast with great passion for values and principles of fairness and Justice, that was and still being attested to by lots of people, even after over a decade.

Today, I am defined by four things; scholarship, journalism/media practice, activism and politics. I make bold to say that these four areas of my life owes their background to the Kwara state Polytechnic. I graduated as the highest CGPA in my department and that ignited my passion in academics. I pioneered Campus Parrot, a campus journalism platform in Kwara Poly and also started writing for The Nation’s ‘Campus Life’ in 2009, which gave me a good push for development of my writing prowess. Also, my activism and exposure to societal politics started right from Kwara state Polytechnic.

I met one of my leaders, through whom I had my first experience in societal politics – Alhaji Tunde Akanbi in Kwara Poly, through my leader – Comr. Ewe. I had the privilege of being Akanbi’s spokesperson as the PDP House of Representatives candidate for Ilorin East/South in 2015, because of the capacity he has seen us demonstrate in Kwara Poly between 2009 and 2010, and later, in the 2011 general elections.

In essence, beyond being a citadel of learning that has instilled in us, the basics of tertiary education, Kwara state Polytechnic has also baked us into leaders to lookout for, in various life endeavors. I’ve seen those I learned from, and those whom I tutored through my sojourn in Kwara state Polytechnic doing fantastically well in their various fields, representing large quantum of ‘golds’ scattered all over the world, all owed to our 50years old Kwara state polytechnic.

Even though there is much more to be done, I am of the conviction that Kwara state Polytechnic is fulfilling its purpose, notwithstanding the systemic impediments that has pervaded our nation’s education. It is my hope that the polytechnic truly continue to advance technologically and lead the pack in developing technological innovations that solves the 21st century challenges and strive harder to position its graduates for global leadership.

This is just a ‘Gold’, mined in Kwara Poly, even though refined in several other institutions of academic and professional learning, celebrating the golden jubilee of our tertiary education source.

Sheriff is a PhD candidate at KWASU, the Editor of Fresh Insight Newspaper, a PR Consultant and former Special Assistant to the Speaker, KWHA on Media

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