Chairman, University of Lagos Muslim Community (UMC), Prof. Lai Olurode has commended students of the institution who bagged the first class honours in the last academic session, noting that they have demonstrated that hard work is the key to success.
Olurode made this assertion in an exclusive interview with Muslim News on Monday, July 5 where he encouraged other students to emulate the first class honorees.
The Professor of Sociology particularly commended the Muslims among the first class students considering the hostile environment in which they operate, adding that many of their parents may not have had the opportunity of university education.
“Personally, I will want to celebrate all students of the University of Lagos that made first class, not because they are Muslims or Christians, but because they are the best. I will like to suggest that others too should emulate them. They have demonstrated that religious extremism isn’t the answer, hard work is,” he said.
“I want to particularly congratulate Muslims that have done well because they operate in a very hostile environment. In terms of education, they are lagging behind; even parenting, most of them aren’t coming from homes of parents that have exposure to any university education at all.”
The Don posited that the high-flying students must have learnt to be tolerant and related well with others regardless of religious affiliations.
“There is nothing you gain in extremism. We must be tolerant as Muslims and I am very sure that those who made the first class, whether Muslims or Christians must have related well. They must have believed that peaceful coexistence is the way forward in this country.
“The Prophet (SAW) says to all Muslims that they must believe in the supremacy of Allah, i.e. Allah is one, and they must also believe in the Prophets of Allah. That Jesus Christ was one of them and we must all believe in him. In fact, Qur’an has a whole chapter (the 18th) dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The only point of departure is the godship and sonship of Jesus. Allah has no son, and even Jesus also frowned at people calling him what doesn’t belong to him.”
Olurode appreciated the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos and the Council for providing the enabling environment without which those who performed excellently well would not have had the capacity to do so.
The UMC chair meanwhile advised those who did not make first class not to lose hope, as they can always do better in future endeavours.
“Under him (the VC), the University didn’t witness any form of students violence. The tempo should be sustained so that the students would be able to put in their best.
“I also want to encourage the graduating students, especially those who made third class or 2.2, not to lose hope. They can go back to the University, start their Masters and get first class, if they are determined, just like the students with first class were determined.
“The first class graduates should be a model for the younger ones and come back to the university for mentorship of others. They must learn to circulate knowledge, they must learn to give back to the society, especially to the University of Lagos, where they graduated from.
“They can approach us at the Muslim community for help and it’s not limited to Muslims alone, if Christians come, we’ll help them as long as we have the resources, we’ll assist them once they come. This is based on the Hadith that we want for others what we want for ourselves.”
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