By Ikenna Uwadileke
The House of Representatives on Tuesday honoured Mr Abdulsalam Idowu, a former street beggar for sponsoring himself through school to become a lawyer.
The House also resolved to establish, by law, a Parliamentary Honours/Award System for recognition of extraordinary achievements by Nigerians.
The decision followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by the House Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC).
Gbajabiamila said that the motion was intended to reward excellence and encourage citizens who had elevated the ideals of the Nigerian society.
According to him, Idowu displayed resilience and hard work by studying political science and law from street begging.
“Idowu lost his two legs to polio at the age of three, lost his mother at the age of four, started primary school at eight and resorted to street begging to raise money to buy uniforms, books and to feed.
“He begged for arms from primary through secondary school and was known on the streets of Lagos as a beggar.
“From street begging he bought GCE form in 2002, sat and passed the GCE and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam and was subsequently admitted to study political science at the University of Lagos.
“As he was preparing to complete his first degree, he sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and JAMB.
“In his determination to become a lawyer, passed the exams studied law and was later admitted to Nigerian Law School in 2015 and was called to the Nigerian Bar on Nov. 30 2016,’’ Gbajabiamila said.
Similarly the house commended Miss Aarinola Blessing of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) for attaining exceptional record in her academic pursuit.
Gbajabiamila said, “Blessing, 24, who was admitted into OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun to study Medicine and Surgery in 2011, scored an excellent Cumulative Grade Point (CGPA) of 4.74 in her first year.
“Subsequently in her second through to the sixth year scored Distinctions in Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry and Physiology (200L), Distinctions in Medical Biochemistry and Pharmacology (300L); Distinctions in Pathology and Pharmacology (400L).
He added that she capped it with `Distinctions in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mental Health and Dermatology (500L) and Distinctions in Surgery (600L),” an achievement that had been elusive for a period of 28 years in the university.