Numan, December 27, 2015 – At a colourful and well-attended awards ceremony, Six students drawn from secondary and tertiary institutions took home various cash prizes amounting to N245,000.00 in the maiden edition of the Mgbanghe Annual Essay Competition.
The event which took place at the conference hall of Zangun Motel, Numan, Adamawa State, brought together top government functionaries, academics and students who expressed delight with the essay competition and urged Mgbanghe to keep up the good work.
Former journalist and current Adamawa State Commissioner for Information, Ahmad Sajoh, who spoke at the ceremony commended Mgbanghe for encouraging the culture of debate and helping students to engage with issues that are important to them, pointing out that this was a very important requirement of a responsive democracy.
He challenged Adamawa youths to engage more with the government by speaking out, using platforms such as the one offered by the annual essay competition.
The guest speaker, John Ngamsa (PhD) of the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, spoke on the need for the youth to take charge of their narrative by making sure their voices were heard and on their own terms. He expressed delight with the competition, especially the fact that it was an initiative of a community based organization founded by local youths.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, the President, Mgbanghe, Emmanuel Maluba, explained that the organisation had, as one its core objectives, the nurturing of the creative talents of young people.
“We endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people by celebrating excellence and imagination,” Maluba explained. “We also encourage dialogue and the spirit of debate and critical thinking. This was what prompted us to introduce the Annual Mgbanghe Essay Competition. The essay competition offers young people an opportunity to make their voices heard, to engage with topical issues that are important to them and to express their aspirations for the future.”
The themes covered in this year’s essays centred on promoting entrepreneurship, securing livelihoods in flood-prone communities and harnessing creativity for development. The competition has afforded the participants the opportunity to showcase their creative and critical skills as future leaders.
The event witnessed a live reading of the winning essays from the tertiary and secondary categories.