By Elizabeth Uwandu
Miss FadilahSaliu-Ahmed of Zamani College, Kaduna has been announced as the winner of the 13th Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary School Students. She scored 75% in the first round of the competition and maintained the same grade to lead in the second round, according to the Chief Examiner, Prof.T. A. Ezeigbo.
Ezeigbo said Saliu-Ahmed wrote with tact in a natural and effortless way. Her expressive ability and the application of necessary grammatical disposition, made her the first prize winner for this year’s competition.
The second position went to Miss. Barakat Adebayo of Roshallom International School Egbeda, Lagos,while the third position went to Miss. WuraolaAdeoye of Fountain Height Secondary School, Lagos.
Other winners are Miss. Oluchi Onyenso of Corona Secondary School, Agbarawho who came 4th; Moradeyo Olaitan of Fountain Height Secondary School, Lagos, came 5th. The 6th and 7th positions respectively went to Nathaniel Brown of Ritman College, Ikot Epkene, Akwa-Ibom State and Master Ibe Solomon of Township Comprehensive Secondary School Amaifeke, Imo State.
According to Ezeigbo’s report on the 2016 edition, “we had a total of 846 entries for the 13th edition of the competition. The organisers introduced a filtering procedure and quality enhancement mechanisms, which ensured that only good and judgeable essays got to the judges for assessment. The competition has become very popular, and the formation of an alumni association is becoming an increasing possibility. This year, incidences of copying, collaboration and plagiarism that regularly characterised the exercise in the past, have reduced significantly”
Explaining how the winners emerged, Ezeigbo said: “In the first round of the competition, we adjudged seven contestants as suitable to proceed to the one-hour written test intended to confirm the integrity of their submissions. This test usually takes place in the premises of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) Headquarters, and the contestants are able to meet face to face and have time, albeit a short one, to forge new friendships. Our topic is Adopting and Practicing Tolerance as a Core Value in Nigeria.’
It is closely related to the overall theme of the year, but more specific in its requirements and approach. Unlike in previous years, all the contestants invited to the second round made it to TREM Headquarters.
At the end of the exercise, variations in their first and second submissions were not as extensive as used to be the case in past years.”
For taking the first position, FadilahSaliu-Ahmed will get a cheque of N100,000, a laptop, a plaque, while the school gets three sets of computers and a printer.
Barakat Adebayo who came second will go home with a cheque of N75,000, a plaque and the school will get two sets of computers and a printer. WuraolaAdeoye, the third place winner, will go home with a cheque of N50,000, a plaque and the school gets a computer set. The 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th contestants will get a consolation price of N20,000 each.
The prices will be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture, at the Shell Hall Muson Center, Onikan, Lagos, on Thursday, September 1, 2016. The theme for this year’s lecture is The State of The Nigeria Nation: Redefining Our Values.