A 23-year-old daughter of Lagos-based journalist, Miss Nneoma Abajue, has emerged the best graduating medical student at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, (Unizik), Nnewi Campus, Anambra State.
Abajue Nneoma Paracleta broke an academic record as she won overall best student in five categories from the institution.
The award was the highlight of Hippocratic Oath Taking and Induction Ceremony for fresh graduands of medicine, College of Health Sciences of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, held on Sunday.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles Esimone, said the graduating students lost one year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He noted that the additional year provided opportunity for the students to acquire more knowledge, saying they now enjoy the distinction of being the golden jubilee inductees.
Provost of the College, Prof Gerald Udigwe, told the graduands to be worthy ambassadors of Unizik and avoid acts capable of tarnishing the image of the institution.
The Provost further advised them to remember to help their alma mater when things begin to get better.
Paracleta, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues, expressed gratitude to God and her parents for the opportunity to become a medical doctor.
“I am happy that my childhood dream of being a doctor has been actualized today,” she said.
“From infant, I have chosen to be a medical doctor because there was a doctor I so much admired and I told myself that I would be like him when I grow up,” she said.
She thanked her lecturers for their supports and commitments towards their formation.
Paracleta's father, Chidi Abajue, a Lagos-based media consultant, said her daughter began early to exhibit high academic excellence.
“I'm overwhelmed with joy that Nneoma's dream has come to reality. I'm also thankful to God who supported us,” he said.
According to him, “because of the financial involvement of medicine and surgery, I pleaded with her to choose another course that would end in four years, but she said it was either medicine or she would stay home.
“I wouldn't say I borrowed money from anybody but each time it appeared that the journey would stop, the door would miraculously open and we continued till this day,” he said.
Abajue said his daughter attempted the General Certificate of Education (GCE O'Level) while in Senior Secondary School (SSSII) and cleared her papers, adding that she gained admission with that result.
Apart from being announced as the overall best student, Paracleta also won the best student in 5th MBBS; Chief Cletus Ibeto's prize for best student in Pediatrics; Eche Adinma's prize for best student in community medicine and Eche Adinma's prize for best female student.
A total of seven other graduands received various awards.
Dignitaries at the event include: the Chief Medical Director of NAUTH, Dr Joseph Ugboaja; and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Obi Nwosu, among others. (NAN)