Mrs Amina Abdullahi's is a story of resilience, focus and faith in the midst of sorrow
Amina Abdullahi (m) celebrating her unique accomplishment with members of her family
Amina Abdullahi, a student of Gulak Community Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in Adamawa State made history when she clinched a First Class degree in Islamic Studies at the January 2016 convocation ceremony.
The mother of 12 and grandmother of eight gave deaf cars to all those who discouraged her from studying in NOUN and took a bold step to embark on her degree programme which she couldn't undergo at a younger age. Shortly after commencing her programme, there came an attack on Gulak town by Boko Haram gunmen in October 2012. Several people died and many others were wounded. Fear became the order of the day in the entire community.
This attack, which was prominent on communities in the north-east, especially in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, resulted in the postponement of examinations in all the study centres in these states. January and june 2013 examinations were postponed until January 2014 when "special" examinations were conducted. This seeming set back did not deter Amina from working hard to achieve her goal.
In August 2014, Madagali was captured by Boko Haram militants. On September 5th' Gulak was similarly captured and few days later, Michika, where Amina lived with her family. On Friday, September 13th, at about 5:30 pm, Amina, her husband, children and grand children were forcefully driven out of their home. She lost everything except her laptop computer, which she carried along as they ran for their lives.
Amidst sorrow and panic, they took refuge in Yola for some weeks. As the attackers advanced and came close to yola with the intention of capturing the state capital. Amina's husband moved the family to Kano.
In Kano, Amina kept in touch with her centre director and his assistant, who kept encouraging her not to give up on her studies. She persevered and did her TMAs and also wrote her exams. During the insurgents' attack, Amina lost two of her brothers-in-law, two family members and 20 close neighbors, all of whom were brutally killed. The trauma was terrible. Despite the bitter experience, she encouraged herself and heeded the advice and encouragement of her study centre director, Mrs. Hawa Hirki, to be strong and face her studies with the belief that what is worth doing is worth doing very well.
"Thanks to Allah, through His mercy and will, I was able to pass my TMAs, exams and wrote my project with 'A' result, under the supervision of Dr. Bello A. Bello of Bayero University, Kano, "Amina said as she expressed her profound joy when she heard that she made first class.
This student is an example of hard work, resilience and dedication. Despite all odds, she still completed her studies within four years.
Kudos to Gulak Community Study Centre too for remaining focused despite all the horrible experiences they went through during the attack.
By Liapari Ben Hirki