Valedictory Speech by Unimaid 2019/2020 Best Graduating Nursing Student

It is with a grateful heart to Almighty God, and a sense of humility that I receive this honour to be the valedictorian at this auspicious occasion of the combined induction of graduands of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences of this great University.

Our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude that you all are here today to witness our induction and share in our celebrations despite your undoubtedly, busy schedules. The journey had started 5 or 6 years ago for most of us, but more for some of us who had academic hitches along the way. It had been tortuous but truly adventurous.

The day that I got admitted into UniMaid, I knew that it was a major step in many steps towards realising my innate potentials. I believe same is true for most of us graduands. The quest for knowledge led us through many obstacles that stood between us and our triumph, but we trudged on. Many of us can remember vividly the experiences in part one. We literally became nomads, moving from one lecture theatre to the other, with hundreds of students in the class. It was even a herculean task identifying who your classmates were.

The case was not too different when we were in part 2. A shout out to our lecturers: Baba Salami, who took several weeks to ensure that we learned everything about cell, John, the Guru, who made sure everyone understood what action potential was. Prof. Daja, who gave us short-guns; Prof. Sani who made us feel like we were neurosurgeons; and Mr Ani who always wants us to make presentations clear for everyone to understand. Ladies and gentlemen, these were some little things that made us who we are today.

My fellow graduating students, I congratulate you all for a job well done. We all know what it means to be a health science student. The competing demands of study, assignment deadlines, hectic lecture hours, tension of examinations, anxiety waiting for results, status and CGPA, clinical postings etc; and challenging ASUU strikes. Then, just when we thought it was remaining one semester for us to graduate, it became COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. We all went back home, hoping it could end within days, weeks, a month, but it took 10 months for us to resume school because the break was elongated by ASUU strike. When we resumed, things weren’t the same again, we had to wear face masks which made us look like Ninjas. With COVID-19 new-normal, we had to wash our hands all the time; we couldn’t shake or hug our friends, or even sit close to them all in the name of social distancing. It hasn’t been easy at all, but what matters most is that we triumphed.

Over the past years, we have learnt Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Sociology, Microbiology, Pathology, and our various departmental courses. Nursing Science, Medical Radiography, Medical Laboratory Science, we’ve attended lectures together, we meet during clinicals, the combined health week, the College quiz, this combined induction ceremony, everything is meant to Forster unity and future effective health team that ensure true professionalism in health sector. The knowledge and skills acquired will no doubt be the bedrock of our future careers. But, I think the most important things that we have learned among other things include patient centred care, stress management, anger management, how to build relationships and rely on each other, how to work together as a team, how to respect each other’s differences, and how much we need each other to succeed.

My fellow graduands, we all know the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Nothing we accomplish is done alone. We must not look down on each other. I believe nobody is superior to another, and the best amongst us is he who treats the patient best, with empathy, respect, dignity and compassion. We are all working towards improving patient care.

I would like to take a moment on behalf of myself and my fellow graduands, to thank the people without whom we wouldn’t be here today, the VC University of Maiduguri, the Provost College of Medical Sciences, the Dean Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, our various regulatory bodies, HODs, lecturers, clinical instructors, administrative staff, the Borno State government, the entire school management and others too numerous to mention. Sirs, Mmas, your efforts towards ensuring that we receive quality education by teaching, mentoring and inculcating the spirit of hardwork and excellence in us has finally paid-off. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a round of applause to this great Faculty. Not only do we excel in academics, we also excel in politics. This great Faculty produced a SUG president of this great institution in the year 2018/2019 academic session; a NUNSA national president for the year 2019/2020 ( A shout out to Farouk Mohammad Ahmad and Reuben MZ) and now a female Dean of Faculty, Prof. (Mrs) Ghali.

We say thank you to every parent, guardian, family member, and friends who have supported us throughout our education. Permit me to express gratitude to my beloved parents, Dr. Mustapha Bukar Gana and Late Aisha Mustapha Zanna of blessed memory, who brought me into this world, and all other parents, guardians and loved ones who are not here with us today. Permit me to also acknowledge my dear husband Dawud Wasaram for his love and support .

Finally, in saying a big congratulations to my fellow graduands once more, I’d like to remind you that our degree completion is not really an ending as much as a beginning as we enter the life of work and home. The battle just began. We must defend and protect the image of this great University. We must also defend the degree that has been awarded to us, and aim for even more and higher qualifications via continuous professional development programme. I challenge each of you to make a difference in whatever you do, stand up and do great things.

Let’s go out there and save lives!!!
God bless the University of Maiduguri.
God bless Borno State.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thank you all!

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