Girls sweep top prizes in Mike Okonkwo national essay competition

MISS Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed of Zamani College, Kaduna, has emerged the winner of the 13th Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary School Students.

According to the chief examiner, Professor T. A. Ezeigbo, Miss Saliu-Ahmed scored 75 per cent in the first round of the competition and maintained the same grade to lead in the second round.

Miss. Barakat Adebayo of Roshallom International School Egbeda, Lagos, was adjudged the second place winner, while Miss. Wuraola Adeoye of the Fountain Height Secondary School, Lagos came third.

Other winners are Miss. Oluchi Onyenso of Corona Secondary School, Agbarawho (fourth), and Moradeyo Olaitan of Fountain Height Secondary School, Lagos, (fifth).

The sixth and seventh 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 the chief examiners’ report on this year’s edition of the competition, a total of 846 entries were submitted.

“The organisers introduced a filtering procedure and quality enhancement mechanisms, which ensured that only good and judgeable essays got to the judges for assessment.

This year, incidences of copying, collaboration and plagiarisms that regularly characterised the exercise in preceding years have reduced significantly,” Professor Ezeigbo said.

According to Ezeigbo, in the first round, seven contestants were adjudged 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 for the second round is ‘Adopting and Practicing Tolerance as a Core Value in Nigeria’.

For winning this year’s competition, Miss Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed will get a cheque of N100,000, a laptop and a plaque; while her school gets three sets of computer and a printer.

The second place winner, Barakat Adebayo will go home with a cheque of N75,000, a plaque and her school will get two sets of computer and a printer.

The third place winner, Wuraola Adeoye will receive a cheque of N50,000, a plaque and her school gets a computer set.

The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place winners will each get a consolation price of N20,000.

The prizes will be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture, at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on Thursday September 1, 2016.  The theme for this year’s lecture is ‘The State of the Nigeria Nation: Redefining Our Values’.

Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition was initiated in 2004 as part of activities to celebrate the birthday of the presiding bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, and to contribute to the development of the educational sector.

The competition has helped students who have participated in it to develop more interest in research work, reading extensively and writing constructively.

Apart from serving as a tool to encourage reading and writing, the competition has also given the students the opportunity to bare their souls on topical issues that are of importance to the social-economic development of the nation.