The House of Representatives on Tuesday honored Abdulsalam Kamaldeen Idowu, a disabled and former homeless street beggar for sponsoring himself through school to become a lawyer and political science graduate.
Also honored was Aarinola Olaiya of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, for attaining exceptional record in her academic pursuit. The decision followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by the House Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC).
The House resolved to establish, by law, a Parliamentary Honours/Award System for recognition of extraordinary achievements by Nigerians.
Gbajabiamila said Abdulsalam Idowu displayed resilience and hard work by studying political science and law from street begging and despite being homeless for years sleeping at Idumota Motor Park in Lagos.
“Idowu lost his two legs to polio at the age of 3, lost his mother at the age of 4, started primary school at 8 and resorted to street begging to raise money to buy uniforms, books and to feed.
He begged for alms 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 JAMB exam and was subsequently admitted to study political science at Unilag.
As he was preparing to complete his first degree, he sat for the WAEC and JAMB. He assed 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,
Aarinola, 24, on her part, had 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 at OAU,” he said.
Gbajabiamila informed his colleagues that Ayodele Dada who was similarly honored at the House on the 26th of March, 2016, for breaking the 5.0 CGPA at Unilag, just concluded his service at the Central Bank of Nigeria and preparing to further his studies abroad.