GRADUATION SPEECH BY DR. MORUF, RASHEED OLATUNJI
(UNILAG 2019 Overall Best Ph.D.Thesis Award Winner, delivered on the 8th July 2021)
The Visitor, President Mohammed Buhari GCFR,
Members of the University of Lagos Council,
Members of the University of Lagos Management
Deans, Heads of Departments,
Distinguished Professors and Faculty,
Parents, Ladies and Gentlemen
Fellow graduands of the University of First Choice and the Nation’s Pride – The University of Lagos!
All other established protocols duly observed and all our Guest.
It is an honour and real pleasure to stand before you all today as the recipient of the overall best Ph.D. Thesis Award for the 2018/2019 academic session. I will forever remain grateful to Almighty Allah
and the University of Lagos. My gratitude knows no bounds as this award is very important for me, Rasheed Olatunji Moruf, the man from not-so privileged background in Ajegunle-Apapa. I sold honey and rode “Okada” to meet up with tuition fees and family upkeep. The man who squatted and hung around throughout his University education (from undergraduate days at the University of Ibadan to UNILAG) because he couldn’t afford accommodation fees! C.S. Lewis did say and I quote “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
When I first came to the University of Lagos and fell in love with Shellfish Bio-Ecology, a discipline in the Department of Marine Sciences, little did I know I will be winning this Unilag nobel award. I only resolved to get the most out of everything I laid my hands on. In the words of Estée Lauder, ‘I never dreamed only about success, I worked for it’. It might be true that being the best makes you the number one but being unique makes you the only one! The driving force and real inspiration has been my wife, who received numerous prizes as a First-Class Honours graduate from the University of Ibadan. Today, I make bold to re-emphasise the saying, ‘behind every successful man is a woman’.
Thanks to the transformative education platform provided by the University of Lagos, which empowers learners to see the world differently and through an ethical lens, which allowed me to think
about Nigerian Portunids fisheries and seafood consumption safety, a field in which I joyfully devoted my time and energy.
With respect to what I had done within the 3 years of my full time Ph.D. programme, the journey to my current prominence began with a perfect CGPA of 5.0 in my course work with twelve (12)
extracted published papers from my thesis and still counting; winning the 2018 University of Lagos School of Postgraduate (Doctoral) Trust Fund alongside two other doctoral students. During the period, I was also recognized and given the UNILAG Muslim Alumni (UMA) grant and Bayero University (where I work) fellowship to complete my project. Howbeit, it was indeed a journey filled with uncertainties, anxiety and pressures amongst others. In all, I only set the goals while Allah perfected it.
To all graduating students, we have learned, unlearned and even relearned with pleasant and sometimes not so pleasant memories. Finally, we are here today against all odds. The hard work,
sacrifices, diligence, perseverance, pains and all paid off after all. It was indeed a worthwhile and Excellent Travail! If there is any lesson in this for all as we go out from here, the words of Oprah Winfrey sums it all “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, the ability to triumph begins with you. Always!”
As we go forth from here, remember this, never compete to be the best but strive to be unique in your own way. Being the best makes you the number one but being unique makes you the only one. Each person (s) knew its own place for water (Qur’an 2:6). My sincere prayer is that our doctorate degrees will open great doors for our future and that we bring the much-needed innovations, real change and solutions that our world desperately need.
On this note, I will like to appreciate my supervisors Prof. Aderonke Omolara Lawal-Are (popularly known as AOL, Aunty of Life) and Associate Prof. Khalid Olajide Adekoya for the tedious but timetested procedural approach they inculcated in me throughout the conduct of my doctoral research. This has made my thesis to win this highly competitive award. Congratulations to the entire staff of the Faculty of Science particularly the Department of Marine Sciences. On behalf of the graduating set of 2019, I appreciate the relentless efforts of the Postgraduate school management – our Dean, Prof. Alabi Soneye, the sub-Dean, Dr. (Mrs) Taofikat Adesalu and our ever able Vice Chancellor, who was once
the Dean of Postgraduate School, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS. May God in his infinite mercy continue to bestow on you the wisdom, guidance and enabling environment needed to deliver your
To our mentor in Marine Sciences who is also the current Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. L.O. Chukwu; to my parents, Alhaji and Alhaja Moruf, my siblings (Daud, Wasiu &
Ramat), my beautiful wife (Hajia Hawwau Adeleke Moruf), my children (Musharof, Muqodaz and Mubaraq) and to my best and childhood friend, Kazeem Alarape, this great recognition belongs to all
Congratulations to all fellow Doctoral graduands. Completing the Ph.D. programme has justified our stay here in deed and in truth. It is now time for us to go out there and make the difference for our community, the nation and the world.
God bless the School of Postgraduate Studies.
God bless the University of Lagos
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Thank you and God bless you all
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