EDU: Students express divergent views on ‘born again’ who withdrew from university for exam malpractice

Students of the University of Ilorin have continued to react to the decision of a 300-level Sociology student, Abolarin Jephthah, who recently notified the authorities of his decision to withdraw from the institution because he obtained the results of his West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, through examination malpractices.

In a letter of withdrawal dated August 5, 2016, addressed to the university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Professor N. Y. Ijaiya, the student declared that having become ‘born-again,’ he has decided to withdraw from the university because he cannot continue to be a student of the university with a faulty foundation.
The letter reads in part:
“With all sense of humility, I ABOLARIN AKIN JEPHTHAH with matric number (13/77jd010), a 300 level student in the department of sociology, wish to openly declare the reason why I withdraw from the university. Sir, just as a house that was built on a faulty foundation will definitely collapse…

“Sir, with deep conviction, I have realised that there is no point of building my academic career on a faulty foundation, since the WAEC result I got through malpractice is the basis in which my admission into this university was anchored.
“Therefore, I have decided to withdraw from the university and start all over again.”

Mixed reactions have since trailed the student’s decision.

The University of Ilorin Students’ Union President, Shobowale Olawale, praised Mr. Jephthah’s decision, describing it as bold and encouraging.

Speaking with our correspondent recently, Mr. Shobowale, a student of History and International Studies department, expressed his total support for the student, stating that the step he took is a ‘good’ one.
Another student, Seyi Alonge, explained that Mr. Jephthah has shown high level of morality and commitment to basic Christian ethos. He applauded the student’s decision and wished him well in his future endeavours.

Christian Olaloluwa, a 400-level Engineering student, said Mr. Jephthah should not be blamed because he alone understood why he took the sensitive decision.
“People should stop passing judgment and allow the young man live with the consequences of his decision. Only he understood why he took that very critical decision,” he said.

In contrast to those in support of the confession, a cross section of the university students condemned Mr. Jephthah’s decision; stating that it was a badly conceived one.

According to Jolayemi James, a 400-level student of Mass Communication department, repentance and restitution are personal affairs which he could have handled without taking the extreme position of withdrawing from the university.

He said, “What about the examination malpractices he must have involved in during his elementary school days? Is he going to declare his primary school certificates too fraudulent? I think it was a bit too extreme and he could have repented without making it public like this. God is a merciful God.”

Another student who simply identified herself as Tola stated that the decision was a bad one. She explained that it must have been an end-result of poor understanding of the Bible.

“If you truly understand the bible, you will know what true repentance is. When you repent and show restitution, it means that you should stay away from iniquities and not necessarily go the extreme way of withdrawing from the university,” she said.

The University of Ilorin management has since acknowledged Mr. Jephthah’s withdrawal letter.

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