_…says repeating class 5 did not stop him from succeeding in life_

The Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo has advised Akwa Ibom youths not to be ashamed of failing in whatever career they chose to pursue in life.

He made this remark at the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) Uyo Diocese 1st quarter 2020 General Meeting, held at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Dominic Utuk Avenue, Uyo.

Speaking on the title “the role of the youth in nation building” Mr. Inoyo told the gathering of Catholic Youths that he never had a perfect road to success, that he experienced some setbacks in life but he was focused, dedicated to making it to the top and thus, did not allow the setbacks derail him.

Advising them that hard work and tenacity pays, Mr. Inoyo said: “In 1954, my father, late Elder Uko Inoyo, had secured admission with full scholarship into an American University but his dream of an American Education was thwarted following his inability to raise Two Hundred Pounds for transportation. He studied at home, becoming an Accountant in 1959. But his experience made him want to sacrifice everything to sponsor any of his children who desired to school overseas. While some siblings took up the offer, I never wanted to leave Nigeria, and still don’t. I went to secondary schools here, from St. Patrick’s College, Calabar to Salvation Army Secondary School Akai, then back to St. Patrick’s to repeat class 5. My first WAEC results were not good. It could not enable the advancement of any academic pursuit. So, I probably could have become a clerical officer.”

He stated further that, completing his secondary school with an unimpressive result would have deterred him from pursuing his dreams in life but he was determined never to give up his goals in life.

“I gained admission into the School of Basic studies program of the College of Technology, Calabar but opted instead to go to Federal Government College (FGC), Ikot Ekpene for my Advanced Level studies (Higher school certificate). While the Technology campus offered ‘freedom for a 17 year old, it also could have been a distraction for someone who already had a ‘yellow card’, with the WAEC experience. I knew early that I needed some dose of discipline, hence my decision to go enroll in FGC Ikot Ekpene, and to stay in a dormitory, and not a hostel. I attended the University of Calabar, where I studied Political Science, and thereafter Law, and of course the Law School in Lagos. So, my entire formal education was in Nigeria. Post NYSC, I worked in the Cross River State Civil Service, and later Akwa Ibom State Liaison Office, Lagos up till 1989 when I joined Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.”

He advised them not to give up their dreams irrespective of the number of times they fail. He said: “don’t be ashamed to fail, but be ashamed if you let your failure define your future”.

Noting that he succeeded despite a repeat of class 5 and a poor outing in his first WAEC examinations; he was to later compete with the world’s best, despite being an African – Nigerian from a minority ethnic group – that Akwa Ibom youths too can make it in life, if they get rid of distraction.

“You too can. I went to school in Nigeria but contended with colleagues from Ivy League schools. Self-discipline is good for your progress. Rid yourself of distractions, hard work, not short cut pays.”

Going spiritual, Mr. Inoyo quoted Colossians 3:23 as where he lent his message from, that, Akwa Ibom youths should always focus on the long term sustainable benefits and durable success, and not on short term gains, admonishing them not to derail but be daring.

Recall that, after the event, the CYON gave him an “Insignia of Appreciation” for his exemplary life and for being a role model to millions of youths in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria and the world.


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