SPOTLIGHT: Years after CrispNG’s story, viral ex-corps member mocked online gets help

 SPOTLIGHT: Years after CrispNG’s story, viral ex-corps member mocked online gets help

Photo Credit: Sidiq Rufai

Delay, they say, is not denial, and Umar Ibrahim Umar’s story perfectly embodies this. Three years after CrispNG’s story, the ex-corps member who went viral for his dedication as a parade commandant but was mocked for being a POS merchant, has been awarded a fully funded scholarship.

Like other graduates, Umar enlisted in the one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in 2018 and was deployed to serve in Bauchi.

The Physics graduate from the Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, who was 27 at the time, showed dedication and commitment to a camp task, which catapulted him to the limelight.

A picture of Umar commanding the parade, shot by an OBS member, Sidiq Rufai, surfaced online and went viral, drawing attention to his passion. When asked why he put in so much effort in a parade, Umar said, “I was doing it because I believe if I do small things right, I will also do the big things right whenever I get the chance.”

However, after shouts, sweat, and screams serving his fatherland, the ex-corps member’s fate wasn’t pleasant. He ended up becoming a private school teacher with very little income, which he used to cater for his family and himself.


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In 2022, a tweet mocking him surfaced online, labeling him a POS merchant, which he debunked. However, on the 24th of June 2024, Mr. Umar began a crowdfunding campaign to start a POS business, raising 80,000 naira on the first day, over 200,000 on the second day, and 352,000 on the third day, before the intervention of Prof. Isah Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

Prof. Isah, who asked that Umar reach out to him privately, offered Umar a fully funded postgraduate scholarship, a decent-paying job in one of his foundations, and connected him with a mentor in renewable energy to pursue his dreams.

Umar and Prof. Isah Image Source: Twitter

This is a dream come true, as in a 2021 interview with CrispNG, Umar revealed his intentions to secure a fully funded scholarship abroad, which was unsuccessful. He stated, “I applied for a postgraduate studies scholarship to Turkey before the coronavirus pandemic, but with the intention of coming back to lift my society out of poverty and introduce many opportunities.”

When asked if he thought Nigeria was stifling his dreams, he said, “I still remain optimistic. There are opportunities everywhere; I could find mine here or outside the country.” And truly, Nigeria became a land of dreams for Umar; truly, the land is green.

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