A 43-year-old wheelbarrow pusher in Benue State, Terhemen Anongo, has explained that he dropped out of the University of Ibadan Medical School at 500 Level due to depression caused by the unfriendly academic environment.

Anongo noted that he left UI and returned to Gboko town in Benue State to start a new life by pushing a wheelbarrow since he was not willing to get married.

Terhemen Anongo

Speaking with PUNCH in an interview, the 43-year-old noted that he wanted to study Petroleum Engineering specifically but his father insisted on his choice of Medicine, which later led to depression for him.

He said, “Yes, I was admitted into the University of Ibadan in the 1996/97 session (as a medical student) and by 2000 I moved on to the teaching hospital, UCH (University College Hospital), but I dropped out when I was in 500 Level because I was suffering from severe depression, which made me lose interest in medical school. Though at a point, I tried to go back, the authorities did not allow me.

“I am based in Gboko, Benue State, where I work as a porter, pushing a wheelbarrow. First of all, it was never my desire to study Medicine. I graduated from secondary school and had the best results. I loved Physics and Mathematics, so I wanted to study Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, to be precise. I got the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination form and filled it and took it to my dad, a Mathematics teacher but my dad said no; he said he had some Indian teachers who told him that the best course for me to study was Medicine.

“But when I got to medical school, I realised that Medicine is about cramming, memorising terminologies whose origin you don’t know. So, I lost interest in academic work but I still managed to pass and got to the teaching hospital.

“The way the University of Ibadan is structured, the people there are not friendly, though, is the best medical school. I remember a girl who came from the United States for a programme in UI; before she left, she told the Head of Department that their approach was too harsh; that the environment was not friendly. If you don’t know something, you are not confident to say you don’t know it. That, coupled with my lack of interest, made me quit.”

Anongo noted that he attempted to “go back to take another course, at least to change from Medicine to Psychology, but they refused. I tried other universities, including the University of Maiduguri and Benue State University, to see if I could switch course, they all refused.”

“Yes, I lost interest in academic work; at a point, I thought of suicide; I almost cut off my radial artery so that I could end it all. I am now in Gboko, working as a porter, pushing a wheelbarrow.  

“My dad is no more alive but my mum is alive. What she is trying to do now is to set up a chemist shop for me; she has got a shop and I am trying to raise money so I can put some drugs in the shop,” he added.

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