Making a First Class is no mean feat. But it is becoming commonplace at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), where First Class graduates are rewarded by the church.
Starting with 19 First Class graduates in 2010, the number of young people attending the church, who have received the Dr. D.K Olukoya Academic Award of Excellence for earning First Class grades from universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions locally and internationally, has grown to over 500.
This was because the General Overseer of the church, Dr Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, threw a challenge to young people to hit the benchmark and get a brand new car.
Last Sunday, over 300 First Class graduates, from universities and polytechnics across the world, benefitted from the Award presented during the church’s 30th anniversary service at the MFM Prayer City, Mowe, Ogun State. However, they got cash awards, as the church can no longer afford to buy cars for the increasing numbers of First Class graduates.
Olukoya said the awards represented his passion for youths and their success stories, adding that rewarding graduates of tertiary institutions for their exemplary academic performance was part of his 70-point plan for youth development.
The Mathematics graduate of the University of Lagos said: “As part of my passion for youths, I had a 70-point agenda to ensure their success in all their endeavours. The award is one; the MFM football team is another. To the glory of God, both are doing well now.
“These awards started in 2010, when we gave out 19 cars to first class graduates. By 2013, the number of first class graduates had risen to 77. We could no longer afford to give out cars, so we resorted to giving out cash awards.
“It had become so competitive that it was ’embarrassing’ in a particular university where they produced 10 graduates, among who were eight MFM members. By 2015, the number had risen to 130. Of course, the General Overseer could not handle it alone any longer. So, naturally, I had to ask for assistance from other well-meaning individuals to join me in keeping the dream alive.
“Now in 2019, we have over 300 deserving beneficiaries from various universities and institutions of higher learning across the world. From the United Kingdom, to the United States, across Europe, Nigeria and other parts of the African continent, we have students who have excelled in various fields of academic endeavour, to be honoured here today.”
Olukoya said there are plans to publish a book on beneficiaries of the awards. He said the book, to be called ‘University Generals’, would be launched soon.
“By the grace of God, we have been monitoring the activities of the previous graduates, who had benefitted from these awards, as a follow up – and we are happy to report that they are doing well in their various fields. We have thus deemed it fit to publish a compilation, a book called ‘University Generals’, which will talk about these beneficiaries, their stories, all they went through to succeed and such matters. The book will be launched soon,” he said.
On hand to present the awards to last Sunday, were Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his wife, Ibijoke; the Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and the Vice-Chancellor of the Mountain Top University, Prof Elijah Ayolabi.
Speaking at the event which had as theme: “Rearranged for Revival’, Sanwo-Olu praised the graduates, describing them as inspirations to other students and worthy ambassadors of the nation.
He said by their feat they represented the hope of a brighter future for the Nigerian youth.