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Uche Okwuoha Seemed Destined for Run-Ins with the Law, not Law School

He was once a wheelbarrow pusher, bus conductor and tout. His shelter was under the bridge. Education for him seemed far-fetched, Uche Okwuoha, now a Law student at the Obafemi Awolowo University narrates how his life began to take a meaningful shape, Motunrayo Aboderin writes. Uche Okwuoha, an indigene of Imo State, scored the highest mark in the Obafemi Awolowo post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in the 2010/2011 academic session. He had the highest score of 320 (out of 400) and he is presently a Law student in the institution’s Faculty of Law. But Okwuoha’s journey to stardom was one filled with pain and hardship.

The 27-year-old young man who was once a street boy said at the time he was leaving his secondary school at Okigwe, Imo State, his intention was to gain admission to any university, join a cult group and kill as many people as he could.

Now, Okwuoha said he is a changed man. In his words, “Life has dealt with me; the only thing left in me is hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

Narrating his story to our correspondent, the year-two Law student said that his life as a street boy began in 2001. “I was born in Okigwe, Imo State. I had my primary and secondary education at St. Augustine’s Grammar School, Nkwere, Imo State.

“I was a good boy, brilliant and focused. But when I got to S.S.2, my story changed. I became disinterested in my studies. Then the eagerness to go to university became very strong because I wanted to join a cult group. I had heard that cult boys were strong people and that people feared them. I also heard that as a student you could only succeed on campus if you were a member of a cult group. I told myself that I would join a cult group and kill as many people as I could.”

Interestingly, Okwuoha said he never derived pleasure in inflicting pain on people and never looted people’s property. “I don’t enjoy seeing people in pain and I don’t steal; but still the thought of joining a cult to kill was very strong in my mind.”

Okwuoha said that he wasn’t the only one that had the thought. Most of his friends in secondary school had that thought too.  “I may be wrong, but a typical secondary school boy has this thought. These boys have the notion that if they weren’t in a cult group, they wouldn’t be able to survive on campus. I believe most of these cult groups didn’t start on campus; they started in secondary schools. People may be surprised to hear that there are cult groups in secondary schools.”

After writing his West African Senior Secondary School Examinations, Okwuoha said his result was not too good. He opted for the General Certificate Examination but failed again. In 2007, he wrote the Unified Matriculation Examinations and scored 244. But his choice, a state university back at Imo State, didn’t accept him.  ‘’I guess God did not want me to execute my plan to kill people,” he explained.

Okwuoha said that at that point, he had lost all. He kept roaming the streets. And because he felt staying back at home would be a burden…

Read more: Punch


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