Physically-challenged graduate: Why I don't want to be a liability to anyone

By Mba Ude Ude
Blessing Ukamaka Onah

Blessing Ukamaka Onah, who bagged a B.Sc degree in Public Administration from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has said that she does not want to be a liability to anyone notwithstanding her disability status.

She disclosed this on Saturday, April 13, 2024 in a chat with the NOUN News correspondent during the 13th Convocation Ceremony of the institution at the Enugu Study Centre, Enugu State. 

"My disability did not start from birth. It was the result of fate and uncertainties of life. I was operated for appendicitis and in the course of administration of treatment, the doctor misapplied the wrong medication which ultimately resulted to my legs being paralysed.

"This explains why I am confined to the wheelchair as the only walking support," Onah said.

She maintained that against all odds she insisted to pursue her dream of becoming a graduate and by God's providence and mercy she has achieved that feat. 

Onah said that in her quest to secure admission for higher education, someone introduced her to the NOUN centre located at Opi, and in 2019 she enrolled to study Public Administration in the Faculty of Management Sciences. 

According to her, she was motivated for education by the fact that she desired to help herself and others, adding that studying at NOUN was demanding and required sacrifices but with sheer determination and commitment she was able to scale through.

Onah, while commending the university management for simplicity of the course materials as independent learners can read on their own and understand, also thanked her parents for being there for her as well as believing in her capacity to succeed. 

She advised people, particularly those who are in similar condition as her, to view education as important and they should not allow their circumstances to deter or limit their pursuit of educational goals in life.

The graduate also encouraged them to come to NOUN for the fulfilment of their educational dreams due to its convenience, adding that with resilience and determination, they would come out in flying colours.