Simon Godwin Idoko, a 26-year-old young man, who
graduated a with First Class degree from the Department of
Applied Chemistry, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto has
revealed how he conquered his setbacks to become one of
the best students in his department.
Idoko, a native of Udaburu Owukpa, Ogbadibo LGA of Benue
State, said his dream of becoming a medical doctor or
pharmacist was frustrated after sitting for UTME for five
times without success.
Still not discouraged, Godwin decided to apply for a
different science-related course and was offered to study
Applied Chemistry at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University,
Sokoto where he graduated with a first class, garnering a
total of 4.75 CGPA.
Speaking on Monday, Idoko, a former
student of Wesley High School, Otukpo, and LGEA Primary
School, Udaburu, Owukpa attributed his success to God and
According to him, “I left secondary school in 2007 from
Wesley High School, Otukpo where I was awarded the
overall best in Mathematics. I took UTME six times before I
got admission to study Applied Chemistry. I was initially
applying for Medicine and Surgery due to the advice from
“I have never scored below 200 in UTME and the most
disappointing time during the period of struggling to get
admission was when I scored 264 in UTME and 68 in Post
UTME in 2012 but I was not offered admission to study any
“The only course I was offered throughout the period of the
six years was the course that I studied (Applied Chemistry).
It was very frustrating then.”
Recalling his challenges and the pain he went through, the
young chemist said, “By the grace of God, I didn’t face
financial challenges due to the constant support from my
parents, Chief & Mrs. Simon Omonu Idoko as well as my
uncle, Dr. Idoko Emmanuel Omale. Additionally, NNPC/Total
scholarship and Petroleum Technology Development Fund
(PTDF) scholarship that I won contributed in no small
measure to my wellbeing in the university. However, one of
my challenges was acclimatizing to the harsh weather
condition in Sokoto.”
On how he was able to achieve the feat despite facing
admission challenges for six years, Idoko said, “I was able
to achieve the feat through continuous prayer, hard work
and the zeal to always be the best I can be.
“The secret behind my success emanated from the fact that
as the first son of my father, I wanted to set a standard to
which my younger ones can emulate.”
Asked about his social life while on campus, he said, “I
didn’t have much time for social activities on campus.
However, I was a strong member of National Union of Benue
State Students (NUBESS).
“Telling anyone that graduating with first class is easy is one
of the most expensive lies in the world. To achieve such
feat, one must be ready to do what ordinary students cannot
do such as spending money on good textbooks, spending
more time reading and spending less time on social
“My message to anyone who wants to graduate with first
class is that such a person should bear in mind that
attaining such feat is not easy so the person should be
ready to make sacrifices.
“He has to start reading from the beginning of the semester
and not when examination is around the corner.
“He should not struggle for many lecturers to know him
because some lecturers are “anti-first class” and “anti-
success”. He should teach as many other students that he
can teach and leave others because not everybody can be
“I’m praying to start my M.Sc. programme after my NYSC. I
would like to be a lecturer but if I’m lucky to get a job in a
multinational company, it would be very good as well.
“I graduated with a CGPA of 4.75. I was one of the best
students in my department.”