By Eric M. Kuju
Recently, Nasarawa State University Keffi held her 6th annual convocation where a total of 33,651 students who completed their studies for undergraduate degrees, post graduate diplomas, academic masters degrees, professional masters degrees and doctorate degrees were formally graduated from the institution.
The graduands were from the 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions and the convocation held over the span of four days from Monday March 28 to Thursday March 31 2022.
Out of the total number of graduands, 24,129 were for Bachelor’s degree while 9,522 were post graduate. Among the post graduate, 266 got doctorate degrees and of that number, 18 were Eggon. Eggonnews was not able to get the statistics for Eggon bachelors and Masters degree graduands but you can be sure it will be a very large number.
The following is a list of all the 18 PhD graduands, their discipline and the date they were officially awarded the degree.
- Vincent Paul Business Administration 19th February 2018
- John Dolly Adigizey Business Administration 22nd March 2018
- Emmanuel Ali Attah Educational Philosophy 27th March 2018
- (Mrs) Godiya Pius Atsiya Political Science 6th April 2018
- Ajegene John Michael History 4th July 2018
- Jonathan Asoloko Business Administration 30th July 2018
- Adagadzu Joel Ewuga B. Business Administration 8th October 2018
- Audu Bitrus Sule Educational Philosophy 3rd September 2019
- Florence Yusuf Lekke Educational Philosophy 3rd October 2019
- Paul Alumbugu Tsaku Medical Microbiology 15th October 2019
- Abimiku Rejoice Helma Medical Microbiology 18th October 2019
- Akawu Monday Clinical Psychology 6th December 2019
- Salihu Abdullahi Galle Educational Measurement & Evaluation 11th March 2021
- Allahnana Kwanza Maikudi Educational Measurement & Evaluation 11th March 2021
- Godiya Audu Forensic Psychology 27th May 2021
- Bala Ombugadu Azagaku Economics 27th July 2021
- Aku Philip Eggon Science Education 10th November 2021
- Charles Agum Economics 22nd February 2022
To put this in proper perspective, between the year 2016 and 2020, Eggon produced an outstanding 18 PhDs just from the Nasarawa State University Keffi. That is, not counting those from other universities around Nigeria and around the world.
It is even more impressive when you consider the fact that there are even much more persons currently at various levels of their studies and will soon add to the already mind-boggling number of Eggon sons and daughters who have attained that enviable height in academics.
Professor Sam Baba Adamu Tende, a Professor of Entrepreneurship from the Nasarawa State University Keffi agreed totally with this sentiment when he spoke with Eggonnews.
He said: “I was touched when I discovered that within the Eggon nation, you have produced 18 PhD holders between 2018 and 2022. It is wonderful. You people are ready to take over the Middle Belt but if you are ready to listen, if you are ready to learn, if you are ready to have a teachable attitude then you can make it.”
Professor Tende who supervised one of the PhD graduands, Dr John Dolly Adigizey in his research, could testify to the can-do spirit of the Eggon people and their love for education as exemplified by his student.
On his experience supervising Dr. Adigizey, Professor Tende had this to say: “When you have a creative student, supervision becomes minimal because before you say ‘A’, he already knows the solution. And he is truly ready to walk extra miles.
“We are proud of Dr. Adigizey. He is somebody that if the State decides to utilize properly, they will truly benefit. If the younger generation decides to listen to him, they will definitely benefit. I sincerely know and believe within myself, right from my bone marrow that he is going to be a wonderful mentor.”
According to Professor Tende, he has no doubt in his mind that Dr. Adigizey will become a professor in no distant time considering his love for education and his work ethic.
Indeed all 18 Eggon PhD graduands deserve to be celebrated as they have attained what is regarded as the highest level of academic qualification one can achieve.
For one to obtain a PhD, you must go through years of full-time work towards a thesis offering an original contribution to your subject. That is what each of these 18 persons have done to bring them to this point. Some of them went through the rigors of the program at an age where most persons would have considered too advanced for such life endeavors.
Their achievement is also of great significance to the Eggon nation one of which is that it will serve as encouragement to the younger generation.
Dr Vincent Paul the immediate past General Secretary of the Eggon Cultural and Development Association (ECDA) who himself bagged a PhD in Business Administration spoke to Eggonnews about the significance to the Eggon nation. He said: “The significance of having 18 Eggon PhD graduands is a signal to those who are aspiring. It is an inspiration at the same time, for those who want to attain this feat.
“And to Eggon land, I believe it will help to sanitise and sensitise our people on the importance of education. PhD at this age in the Eggon nation means a lot in the sense that it will create a very strong impact by encouraging the younger ones who may be feeling that going to school has no value.
“It will interest you to know that we have people of over 70 years who also attained this feat. We can talk of the person of Dr. Pharmacist Joel Adagadzu Ewuga Babakandzhi who has retired from NAFDAC as a Chief Pharmacist. After the retirement, he came to pick a PhD form having gone through other processes that permits him to study PhD in Business Administration.
“So, it is a great lesson for the younger ones who are coming, who feel they cannot attain this level. If you have people of such ages doing this. Not only him, we have other ones here like Dr. (Mrs) Florence Yusuf Lekke who studied Educational Psychology. It is something worthy that the younger generation should learn.
“And not just attaining this PhD. It is on us the graduands to take it very seriously because we have attained a level at which we will serve as a light to others in Eggon nation. We can drive the policy direction of our people for them to have a straightforward record, straightforward decision that will be of importance to the Eggon nation.”
Other graduands who spoke with Eggonnews after the convocation were all excited about their new achievement especially considering the challenging road that led to it.
For Dr. John Dolly Adigizey, it was an especially tough journey because he was running a Bachelor’s degree programme alongside his PhD. To the amazement of many, he performed excellently in both programmes, finishing with a first class BSc in Accounting!
He had this to say: “It has been a long struggle from 2013 up to 2017/2018. It has not been a small struggle but God saw me through because it was also a period where God gave me another window of opportunity to even undergo an undergraduate programme simultaneously.
“I was doing the undergraduate while I was waiting for my PhD external because at that time, I was told we were not many enough for an external examiner to be allocated. I saw that as a window of opportunity. I went in and did a course in Accounting. The aim of that was simply to bridge the academic requirements of business. Because I came from Technical Engineering background, so it was even necessary to undergo these courses for me to be well grounded in business school. I took a BSc Accounting and thank God I worked so hard in that area and I was even surprise that I topped the class in that programme with 4.8 which is a First Class. It is not easy, but I did it. It was not my doing, but the Lord’s doing.
“For the PhD, I have many, many people to thank. My supervisor who was always putting pressure to ensure that the work was good. The atmosphere was created where we were able to achieve our goal on the long run.
“One specific thing I want to say to all those aspiring to go forward is that there is nothing too difficult. It is all in the mindset. If you say you want to take up an opportunity, go straight and do it. At my own age, I was already in my 50s and I was able to combine a BSc Accounting and a PhD Business Administration, almost simultaneously. But like I told you earlier, God saw me through to finish the two courses at the same time. Yesterday was our convocation for the undergraduate and today is the convocation for the postgraduate.
“I believe those who are coming behind us can do much better. It is a matter of focus. What do you want in your life? Whatever you want to do, just stand up and focus on that thing. Believe me, the sky will not be your limit. The sky will be your stepping stone.”
Rev. Theophilus John Angbashim had this to add about Dr. Adigizey: “He started his PhD when he was already a family person. I see a lot of people say they cannot study because they have a family but amidst all these distractions, he has been able to focus and achieve this degree. He is indeed an achiever so young people should emulate this kind of people. They shouldn’t go and listen to stories – fables – what people discuss when they sit in joints and talk lazy stories, complaining about the economic situation, challenges and all about life. They should learn to just focus on what is productive and try to develop themselves through studies and hard work.”
Another person whose name on the convocation proceedings raised a few eyebrows was Dr. Adagadzu Joel Ewuga Babakandzhi. He is more popularly known as Pharmacist Joel E. B. Adagadzu because he had risen to the pinnacle of his profession as a pharmacist retiring from civil service becoming the Chairman, Board of Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
After his retirement from civil service at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacist Adagadzu enrolled for a PhD in Business Administration in 2014 and completed his studies in 2018.
On why he waited to this point in his life to go for his PhD, Pharmacist Adagadzu said although he had always wanted to study up to PhD level, the demands of his job while he was yet in service made it impossible.
He said, “I wanted to do this PhD while I was still in service but I discovered that I was too busy. As one of the topmost persons in my department, the responsibilities for most of the jobs were squarely on my shoulders. Those who were serving under me did not show the kind of enthusiasm and zeal to support in the discharge of our responsibilities. They were pursuing other extraneous projects. Some of them were pursuing contracts. And because I didn’t want to fail, I had to put in extra efforts.”
He also disclosed his reason for moving away from pharmacy in his post graduate studies. According to him, studying a course such as Business Administration placed him in a position to view life from a broader perspective.
He said his PhD in Business Administration has brought him very close to fulfilment in life with the ultimate being success in his political aspirations so that he can affect more lives positively.
Another graduand, Dr. Allahnana Kwanza, who obtained a PhD in Educational Measurement and Evaluation, views it as a call to become problem solvers in the society. He said: “PhD will enable you to be creative. You will always think positively. You are there as an umbrella to others. You are there to provide solutions to problems. Any problem that comes to your area, you should find solution to that problem immediately.
“Having a PhD is not easy. It took me two years to obtain my PhD and I know what I passed through. It will help you create positive relationship with others. And at the same time, you are a scholar, a researcher, an authority and you can do and undo.
“This achievement means a lot to the Eggon nation. It will bring unity, love, understanding, cooperation and it will also create room for others to come in, all under the umbrella of education. You know education is an instrument for growth and development. So having this will take Eggon nation to the next level and bring more understanding amongst us and before you know it, we will give birth to others.”