SPOTLIGHT: How Nigerian university security guard became first-class graduate

 SPOTLIGHT: How Nigerian university security guard became first-class graduate

As a security guard at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai, Niger State, Abdulrahman’s nights are spent safeguarding the campus while his days are dedicated to pursuing academic excellence in Transport Management. 

Juggling work and studies is a tightrope walk, but Abdulrahman’s unwavering commitment to his childhood dream of attaining a degree fuels his journey.

With each passing semester, he navigates the challenges of split shifts and rigorous coursework, finding solace in effective time management and steadfast priorities. 

From providing quick responses to emergencies to managing transport logistics, Abdulrahman sees the symbiotic relationship between his coursework and security responsibilities.

In an exclusive interview with Muhammad Abdulrahmans narrative, the intersection of ambition, education, and service paints a portrait of hope and opportunity for generations to come. Can we meet you?

My name is Muhammad Abdulrahman, I’m from Lapai Local Government area of Niger state. I work as a security guard in Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai.

I studied Transport Management. And I graduated with First class honor with a CGPA of 4.55. How do you balance the demands of your security job with your academic studies to achieve academic excellence?

I found it very difficult from the beginning to balance the demands of my job with  academics and still graduate with excellent grades, but as time goes on, I become more effective in time management and I also set my priorities right. 

When I’m not on duty, I’m in the lecture hall or in the library and vice versa. I don’t have that time to accommodate other luxury lifestyles like going to recreation centers, parties or other on-campus activities because I’m already working on a divided time with a very tall dream. What motivated you to pursue a degree while working in the security field?

Pursuing a degree is my childhood dream. Working as a security guard in the university provided me with the platform to fulfill my dream as I used the salary I realized through the security job to sponsor my education. What can you say is a major secret to your success story?

Perseverance, consistency, hard work and most importantly, prayers. 

My dream has always been to graduate with first class. So I work and pray. Can you describe any challenges you’ve faced juggling work and studies, and how you’ve overcome them?

It’s indeed, the toughest challenge I face during my academic journey. Balancing my job with academics and still make an excellent grade. My job operates on two shifts, morning and night.

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After I secured admission I was placed on night shift which resumed by 6pm. After my lectures, despite all the stress, to come back to work and be on night guard is actually a tough one but Alhamdulillah with time my system adapt to the schedule and that’s how I started pursuing my dream of graduating with first class and at the same time staying grounded my work place. How has your education enhanced your performance as a security guard?

 Confidence,  I become more confidence in discharging my job responsibilities which in turn improved my performance In what ways do you see your academic achievements benefiting your career in security?

Well, it’ll be beneficial in times of promotion as I was hired with my SSCE. Although, it isn’t my prayers to continue as a security guard anyway. Have you found any synergies between your coursework and your responsibilities as a security guard?

Yes, as a Transport manager you are trained to provide a quick response to any emergency situation in various modes of transport and logistics, and security moves in that direction too, by moving troops and equipment to one place to another in order to maintain peace and order. How do you manage time effectively to excel both in your job and in your studies?

As said earlier, I become effective in time management, I set my priorities right and I have well defined goals. The rest is just to keep moving day by day irrespective of the challenges. Can you share any specific experiences where your academic knowledge has been directly applicable to your work in security?

With my academic knowledge, I was given an additional responsibility in my unit. Although, I’ll not go into detail on this. What advice would you give to other security professionals considering pursuing further education while working?

They should go for it and stop procrastinating. University Security guard is not a career job that most people will like but if you didn’t develop yourself how will you get other opportunities or options? 

What is worth doing is simply worth doing well. And for other Security professionals, without additional qualifications, how can you be promoted? 

Education is good for your own self even without considering the options of promotion and other benefits that may come with it. How do you envision your career evolving as a result of your academic accomplishments in the area of your course of study and professional experience in security?

At this moment, I’m trying to see the options that are available. After that I’ll continue with my MSc God willing. Are you married? If yes , how many kids do you have and how old are you? 

I just got married last December after my final exam. I’m 30 What is your plea to the government, your school to do well for individuals?

Government should provide support like scholarships and direct appointments to outstanding students. 

My school and well to do individuals should combine their efforts in assisting the less privileged individuals finding it difficult to pay their school fees.

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