A physically challenged young lawyer, Queen Onwunaje, has thanked former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, for his support on her journey to becoming a lawyer and a barrister.
Miss Onwunaje, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, on the occasion of her call to the Nigerian Bar, also thanked other individuals and groups, including THISDAY Newspaper as well as her family for making it possible to realize her dream of becoming a barrister in spite of her physical challenges.
She noted that not only did Oshiomhole give her a generous donation of N3.5 million to augment the N5.5 million medical cost of getting artificial limbs in the United Kingdom in 2013, the former governor’s encouragement also went a long way in seeing her through her studies at the law faculty of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
Miss Onwunaje also said that she has a 2010 featured report published in THISDAY to thank for her successful academic journey as the report called a lot of attention to her inborn physical condition, at the time she was still a student at Idia College, Benin-City.
Queen Onwunaje said, “My journey so far has been great by God’s grace. Although, I have had my own fair share of disappointments and failure, but I thank God because everything worked together for my good at the end. I feel grateful to God Almighty for seeing me through all these years uptil now; I couldn’t have done it without Him.
“I can never forget the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who assisted me get my walking aid in England, the United Kingdom. In fact, he helped me out in several ways even when I gained admission into the University of Benin and later to study law at Ambrose Alli University.
“Looking back, I must thank THISDAY Newspaper for the report it did on me in 2010 when I was a student at Idia College, Benin. That report written by Mr Omon-Julius Onabu in THISDAY really helped me, drew a lot of attention to my condition.
“Then, my parents have always been there for me; I owe my parents, Mr and Mrs M.C. Onwunaje Esq. a world of gratitude, together with my siblings. I equally thank my then principal, Mrs. Dorothy Igbinovia, and Osarodion Ogie Esq., former Chief of Staff, Edo State; Mrs Mary Uckor (former president, Idia College alumni, Benin and the entire old girls association of my school.
“To the current Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, the good people of Edo State and everyone who assisted me in one way or the other, I’m grateful.”
Speaking about the most trying periods as a law student, Miss Onwunaje said, “Oh yes! My prosthetics broke when I was in my final year, all hope was lost, plus I subsequently failed my Bar Exam the first time. But I was able to manage the leg, went back to resit the Bar Exam and, by God’s grace I passed.
“I feel fulfilled, knowing that I was still able to achieve that dream of becoming a lawyer despite my hurdles. My advice to young people out there is that they should know life is not a bed of roses, and it won’t always be fair to you. But if they’re determined, they will pull through.
“People will try to discourage and distract but remain focused. No one ever got to the peak of their career by folding their hands; you must pay a price. So, before wishing to be like someone or envy anyone who’s already established in the field of your career, always know that it didn’t come to them on a platter of gold, they paid a price. Are you willing to pay the price? Above all, you need God.”