NOA makes false claim about first female First Class Physics graduate in Sokoto university

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THE National Orientation Agency (NOA) has claimed that Zainab Abdullahi Bashir is the first female student to graduate with first class honours at the Department of Physics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS).

The agency made the claim on Sunday, November 19, 2023 in a flyer (archived here) signed by its Director General, Lanre Issa-Onilu.

ZAINAB… Pride Of A Nation. Your unprecedented achievement is humbling. First Female First Class Graduate In Physics from Uthman Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria. This epitomises Our National Beacon Of Hope. A guiding light to what we stand for. Nigeria Celebrates You(sic),” the flyer reads. 

 

CLAIM 

Zainab Abdullahi Bashir is the first female first-class graduate of Physics at UDUS.

Screenshot of the claim on NOA’s X account before it was deleted.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Prior to NOA’s claim, several media platforms and blogs including Daily Trust and MySchoolNews have erroneously reported the claim in the past and as such, we deem it fit to set the record straight. It was also shared on Nairaland in April 2019.

In 2018, Zainab Abdullahi Bashir, an indigene of Katsina state bagged first class honour from Physics Department, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto having scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.87 out of 5.0.

File Photo: Happiness Ezeonuogu

However, checks show that contrary to the NOA’s claim, she’s not the first to graduate with the feat in the university. Checks revealed that there was Ezeonuogu Happiness Anutika who graduated with the feat in 2015, about 3 years before Zainab did.

Documents obtained by The FactCheckHub show that Happiness graduated with a first-class honour in Physics at the university with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.51, thus indicating that she graduated with the feat ahead of Zainab. 

Speaking with The FactCheckHub, Happiness who is currently a technical adviser on Coiled Tubing expressed her dismay describing the news as false information which has been circulating for a long time.

Certificate of Ezeonuogu Happiness Anutika from Usmanu Danfodiyo University.

 “I felt very sad, the first time I heard about the news, some years back. It was like, I lied to my family and friends about my result, and I told them what I am not.

“It is very important to get facts and figures right because no one can tell me that there are no databases which document students’ academic performances. I won’t call this an oversight,” she said.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim by the National Orientation Agency that Zainab is the first female student to graduate with first class in Physics at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto is FALSE; findings show that Happiness had first class from the same department and institution in 2015.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.

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