Organisers of the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) 78th Birthday Essay Competition are yet to pay four winners that emerged from a quiz six weeks ago.
Some Nigerians had participated in the essay with a grand prize of N100,000 up for grabs in four different categories.
According to one of the winners, on July 20th, an essay competition was announced via Facebook in honour of the former Head of State. And on August 17th, the organiser, Mr. Earl Yemi Saka, announced the four winners via the social media platform.
Abubakar Akote (Media practitioners category) won N100,000 for his essay on, “The impact of Ethnicity and Religion on promotion of Public Peace and National Cohesion in Nigeria”.
In the Legal Practitioners category, Aliu Toyin Abdul, also won N100,000 for his writing on, “Presumption of innocence and legal technicality in effective corruption cases between 2015 and 2018: Nigeria as a case study”.
Chioma Okonkwo won N100,000 in the Medical Practitioners and Related Fields category. She wrote on “Drug Control and mental health in Nigeria: Efforts and Challenges”, while Ogbaga Sunday Thomas won N100,000 in Undergraduates and Post Graduates Students category.
He wrote on the topic, “Artificial intelligence, Robotics and emerging employment requirements: How relevant is the curriculum of Nigeria’s universities?”
The winner recalled that Mr. Saka posted of short video of General Babangida going over the entries on August 23.
In the video, Babangida commended the writers and asked that their works be published online for public consumption.
“I think you should make sure that these essays are placed on websites so that others will be able to access the efforts that these young children are putting in because these are good,” General Babangida said.
Speaking on the delay in the payment of the prize money, Saka said, “First of all, many charitable activities were outlined towards the celebration of the 78th Birthday of IBB which execution commenced on Monday, August 19 2019.
“Classrooms were to be renovated in some schools, medical bills of some indigent people to be settled, grants to be given to some students, scholarships for some students to study at El-Amin International Schools.
“A widow who lost her husband to his heroic feat is billed to be given financial support and the essay competition. In strict compliance to religious dictates, the family did not publicise these activities.
“Second of all, these projects are executed in order of priority as deemed fit by the Press Office. The winners will corroborate my claims as I contacted them few days ago for their bank details.
“Third of all, I take responsibility for the delay as I did not inform the winners and judges about other activities and delay.
“Going forward, the lesson from this is we shall create a dedicated account for subsequent editions to eliminate such delay, and I assure you this will be resolved within the next forty-eight (48) hours.”
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