Abosede Oyinlola Samson has emerged winner of the 2020 Osun State Independence Day essay competition organized by the Osun State government.
Abosede Oyinlola Samson, a 23-year-old and final year student of Chemical Engineering Department, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) was declared the winner of the competition on October 1, 2020 as Osun State celebrates Nigeria’s 60th anniversary.
Abosede Oyinlola Samson emerged winner amongst 756 other students who registered for the essay competition organized by the Ministry of Regional Integration and Special Duties (MRISD).
On behalf of the State Government of Osun, Abosede Oyinlola Samson was awarded a cash prize of ₦250,000, a laptop computer worth of ₦700,000, Airtel 100Gb Router and documents of ownership to a plot of land.
Winner of the second position, Ademuyi Stella, a 400 level student of Adeleke University was presented a laptop computer, ₦150,000 cash prize, a Samsung J6 mobile phone and Gigabytes of Airtel Wi-Fi.
Adelu Serif, a 400 level student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) who emerged in 3rd position received ₦100,000, Samsung Tablet, Samsung J6 mobile phone, among others.
Out of the registered students, only 20 students were chosen to have qualified for the final rounds of the competition while the 1st, 2nd, 3rd were selected out the 20 students that qualified.
The 20 students that qualified for the essay competition includes Olowolagba Ayodeji from the University of Ibadan, Ibikunle Bukunmi from the University of Osun, Sodiq Atanda from the University of Zaria, Oyekanmi Damilola, a student from the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Adebayo Michael from the University of Lagos, Ademuyi Stella Adeleke University, Adelu Serif OAU, Azeez Mubarak National Open University of Nigeria.
Others are: Olayode Ayodeji Oye Ekiti Fed. Uni, Jibola Abdul Hammed of UNILORIN, Oladimeji Opeyemi of UNILORIN, Abosede Oyinlola of OAU, Salami Abeeb of University of Ibadan, Opadola Morufat of Adeleke University, Olaniyi Marvelous of UNIOSUN, Ayomide Mubarak of University of Abuja, Akinloye Olamilekan of UNIOSUN, Ojo Oluwabamise of Adeleke University, Adeleke Adebayo of University of Ibadan, Omotoso Kudirat of UNIOSUN.
Other seventeen participants went home with a sum of N₦25,000 each.
Addressing the participants at the award presentation of the essay competition, Oba Kayode said he is impressed by the state government’s initiative.
He advised the participants, saying ‘no matter what your position is today, it does not show that you are not good, it just telling you to improve and remember that those that registered are many’.
“This is coming to the reality that our dear State is booming in the educational sector by impressing our Youth which a program like this for them to be more educative rather than becoming a nuisance in the State and showed his support to the State government.”
Mr. Benedit Alabi, the Deputy Governor of Osun State said the program was organized with consideration of the global pandemic that has ravaged the world.
“The topic of this Essay Competition, ‘Moving ahead post coronavirus pandemic, impact and prospect of Covid-19 on the economy’, is apt and timely and coming at a time when the new normal is needed to find a new way to live our lives and rectify our economy.” said Alabi.
He added that the essay competition is different from previous Independence day celebrations adding that this is the new style of the government.
Abosede Oyinlola Samson, Winner of the 2020 Osun State Independence Day Essay Competition, shared his experiences, thoughts and insights with PositiveNaija on October 8, 2020.
Motivation for participating in the competition
I have always been motivated by a burning passion to convey my thoughts and issues concerning Nigeria because I strongly believe Nigeria can still work.
I strongly believe in the power of the ink to advocate social issues and to change the world. Even though I love to write, for instance I opened my PC last night and I discovered that I have participated in over 50 writing contests this year, what kept me going was not the belief that I could win but my motivation has always revolved round a burning desire to contribute my ideas and quota to the progress of the country. I have always had confidence that with the commitment of Nigerians to come together to change the system for the better, the next coming years would be our biggest and best yet.
The first thing I do when I see the topic of an essay competition, is not just to look at the prize or money involved, but to rather sit down and think through the particular issue, if it is something, I’m passionate about I’ll give it my best. Regardless of whether I win or not.
I strongly believe Nigeria can get better and rise to more glory and if followed through can change the paradigm.
Factors that helped me win
The truth is that I love asking questions – meaningful questions, which I believe provides me with the opportunity to learn, to become more than what I am and to continually remind myself that I don’t know it all. In other words, to keep me humble and also to help me in making research about a subject matter.
Also, I have always been an intellectual fighter for emancipation and the key factor in winning any contest is what I believe to be, knowledge and passion. You see if you are not passionate about a subject matter, I believe strongly that there is no point wasting time in entering the challenge this is because there are other better writers out there who are quite passionate about the issue.
I emerged winner amidst a total of 756 valid entries not because I had faith that I could win but because I was fulfilled when I submitted my entry. For me, I’d say that I won the day I sent in my entry.
I remember at the Independence Day award ceremony; we were to engage in a writing exercise for 30 minutes about the issue Nigeria is facing as regards the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) before the winners were to be announced. This was quite tasking but at the same time amazing!
Now, there was no time to research the internet, nobody to ask questions and no time to phone a friend but what actually made me to stand out was the result of rich investment in my writing skills in the past, surfing the internet for critical issues facing the country, engaging in intellectual argument on forums while making recommendations and proffering solutions to critical issues facing the Nation. This is actually when knowledge comes into play.
In summary, I’ll say knowledge and burning passion are the major factors that made me stood out.
Relevance of the essay to the Nigerian society
You see, I wrote on the Impacts and Prospects of COVID-19 on the Nigeria economy and judging from a cursory glance the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as the virus that stopped the world. I believe we are living through a period that can only be described as the greatest act of solidarity in history, as many people gave up their civic freedoms to save lives.
However, I believe that there are opportunities presented by COVID-19, which could be maximized in resetting some of our economic approaches in a way that will maximize our chances of developing more resilient and sustainable approaches to globalization.
I believe the COVID-19 crisis should also sharpen our thinking about climate change, reinforcing the fact that early intervention is vastly more effective and less costly than waiting until the crisis hits.
Furthermore, this essay is significant to the society because I can now seize this opportunity to send the message, I have for Nigerians that there is still hope and Nigeria can still work if only we take it as a point of responsibility that we have duties to ourselves and our nation.
Duties that we do not accept grudgingly but rather seize happily, firm in knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to our spirit than giving our all to a difficult task in attaining great lofty heights in the country.
Let me begin by thanking His Excellency, Governor Gboyega Oyetola for graciously supporting the 60th Independence Essay Competition and also for deeming it fit for the competition to be organized annually in the state, which I believe will be used as a medium to raise the standard of education to the highest level.
However, I would like to emphasize the fact that the biggest problem confronting Nigeria’s education system is funding.
For example, the percentage of the budget allocated to education annually is abysmally low. In 2018, only 7.04% was allocated to education which I am a firm believer is far below UNESCO’s recommended 15%-26%.
I strongly recommend that the government at all levels should invest more in education and also collaborate with private sector through Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative to accumulate the much-needed funding that will pave way for technological development. It will also guide against brain-drains and significantly alleviate over-dependence on aids from other countries and organizations.