Femi-Lawal Victor has emerged the overall winner of the 2020 PositiveNaija essay competition, themed: The Purpose of Nigeria!
The 2020 PositiveNaija essay competition (July 1 – October 1, 2020) is purposed towards informing the world what genuinely gives confidence on the reason(s) why Nigeria exists as a country today for the good of Nigerians and humanity.
The PositiveNaija annual essay competition aims to encourage Nigerian patriotism, impactful scholarship, nation building, as well as inspire as a platform for excellence.
Mr. Femi-Lawal Victor emerged overall winner with his Essay and with a total weighted score of 3,669. Mr. Femi-Lawal Victor receives a cash prize of ₦70,000 and his essay will be published as the foreword in the 2020 PositiveNaija Series.
Femi-Lawal Victor is a medical student at the University of Ibadan.
Mr. Adu Michael Adeyemi emerged second position winner with his Essay and with a total weighted score of 1,224.4. Mr. Michael, the third place winner of the 2018 edition receives a cash prize of ₦50,000.
Mr. Olawale Lekan Christopher emerged third position winner with his Essay and with a total weighted score of 1,607.4. Mr. Olawale, the winner of the inaugural edition of the competition, receives a cash prize of ₦30,000.
Certificates are issued to Femi-Lawal Victor and the two other finalists and their essays are published on the PositiveNaija website.
According to the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PositiveNaija, Mr. Toju Micheal Ogbe:
“We thank God Almighty as we are once again pleased with another realization and success of the annual essay competition (now in its fourth edition) – improving on the strategy, organisation, set objective and engagements by the participants.
The number of essays received numbering one hundred and fifty three (153), which is the highest received in any of the editions are impressive and encouraging. The quality of the entries overall especially in recognising the set expectation of the essay objectives are also commendable and can be better.
We are confident that the culture of reading, valuable research and interest in the positive progress and excellence of Nigerians on Nigeria continue to increase.
We are particularly glad that we have winners in this year’s edition compared to last year’s edition, which had no finalist/winner from the entries received.
The theme of this year’s essay competition is perhaps the most important topic of the PositiveNaija annual essay competition and a very critical one at this time – particularly in understanding and assessing the justification, basis, motive for the existence of Nigeria as a country and its relevance to its peoples and beyond.
I am convinced that certain salient but highly relevant revelations on the reasons why Nigeria exists today as a country for good have been unveiled through these essays and should be further amplified with sincere, practicable and intense convictions.
These reasons include: Nigeria as an arbiter of peace in Africa and the world; safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians and also in providing conducive environment for a prosperous and fulfilling life; evidence that black people are great — and not merely by being a populous country, or by priding itself only on its natural resources, but by churning out creativity and excellence of a sublime quality; a multicultural society, as a grand scale celebration of humanity
The three finalist essays selected objectively rather than ten (10), which we hoped for is largely due to a number of limitations in the essays received. These limitations include: logical and narrative inconsistency; instances of lack of reliable/relevant references; spelling and grammatical errors; false information; wild generalisations; genuine value of the essay objective not profound with little or no linkage to the reality on ground today as most essays largely appeared to be – off-topic, descriptive, lamentational, historical or suggestive; late submissions; etc.
As we have always communicated and done even for the last three editions of the essay competition, when requested only by the participants, we would provide feedback to all who did not make it as a finalist or winner – the specific reason(s) why as pertaining to their essays.
Interestingly, as organisers, we do not even know or have the answers to the essay topics. However, we are guided by the principles of a valid sense of judgement as well as the grace to have a society, which promotes much needed reflections and critical-thinking for progress.
Our essay competition is a long-term vision towards becoming the most rewarding essay competition in Nigeria – not just financially but most importantly, upholding the values of purposeful insight, critical-thinking, transparency and accountability.
We appreciate the writers of the essays we received this year (153 in total – 153 Nigerians) – bringing/producing something remarkable out of little or nothing; which is hope – a sincere and veritable one. We appreciate their courage, trust and hope in a greater Nigeria, their intellectual brilliance as well as their confidence in our execution.
Together with the writers, we express gratitude to the general public with their respective support and engagement particularly during the public voting proceedings.
Congratulations to Mr. Femi-Lawal Victor for emerging as the overall winner.
We thank profoundly Dr. Mrs. Tayo Ola George, Ms. Oladoyin Abiona, Dr. Obiajulu Nnamuchi and Mr. Sanni Alausa-Issa, for their prompt interest, wisdom, time and intellectual support as Advisory Judges for the essay competition this year.
We also express our heartfelt gratitude to our team at PositiveNaija; sponsors for this year’s essay competition – Wole Joshua and Co. (competition process auditor), Geo-Group Limited, I.T.I., NanaBytez Enterprise; as well as advisors [family, Elijah Ezaga, Esther Oladayo, and many others] for their kind contributions; a testament of their belief in our vision and mission.
We also appreciate every person and institution genuinely committed to growth of the Nigeria as well as elevating and defending the dignity, safety and prosperity of Nigeria and Nigerians globally in their own little way.
We look forward to more remarkable editions in the future and further improvement in every aspect. Thank you.”
Ms. Oladoyin Abiona, one of the Advisory Judges remarked:
“It has really been a difficult task grading these essays not because it is daunting in itself but because of the excellence of the three of them that I find it difficult to place one above the other. I had to read them over and over again. However, there have to be hierarchies.”
Commenting on the essays of the finalists, Ms. Oladoyin Abiona stated:
“[Femi-Lawal Victor] This is a well written, well developed essay. The thoughts run coherently into one another. I am particularly impressed that the exploits of Nigeria were well listed on page 3 paragraph 3. For a country like ours, it becomes imperative to keep reminding people of the successes of the nation in time past and in the present to foster hope in the citizenry. This essay did this well but it did not recommend ways of fulfilling the purpose like the other essays did. None withstanding, I believe this can be implied from the body of the essay.”
[Olwale Lekan Christopher] This is a well detailed but concise and original essay, easy to understand and points well spelt out. I’ll go for coherence any day! I like that it centers the welfare of the Nigerian people as the major purpose of Nigeria ahead of keeping up appearances on the international scene.
[Adu Michael Adeyemi] My main critic of this essay is its organization; it is sectioned into too many paragraphs and quite a number of the thoughts are quotes, limiting the percentage of authenticity. But I must say it is a well-researched essay and the writer has done well. I particularly liked this quote ‘Geography has made us neighbours; history has made us friends; economics has made us partners; and necessity has made us one… What unites us is far greater than what divides us.'”
In the words of the winner, Femi-Lawal Victor:
“[Motivation] It’s difficult to pinpoint any single factor that spurred me to the win in this year’s essay competition. I didn’t initially expect to win but I tried to write as in-depth as I could, and I’m grateful for the recognition.
Personally, though, I’ve always been interested in historical and current social/political events, not least of all those concerning Nigeria.
I aimed to write as truthfully as possible, and, thankfully, my efforts were recognized.
[Helpful factors] I think the major one was my interest in the literature on the Nigerian situation, as I’ve described.
I wrote the essay over a number of days, too, so that I’d always have a fresh perspective each time I sat to write.
I also aimed to strengthen my points with good evidence and use the best words — to ensure that my key statements would be clear, sharp, and easy to deduce.
[Relevance of the essay/topic] I think it’s very important. John F. Kennedy said that, ‘Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction’ and, of course, those sagacious words remain true.
Nigeria turned sixty this year, and, moving forward, it is important for us to reevaluate our objectives and our purpose as a sovereign state. This is what gives renewed strength and vigour. It’s like telling ourselves, ‘This is who we are. That’s where we’ve come from. And this is where we’re going’. A question of unparalleled complexity, it is a deep-rooted concept whose answer simplifies many complexities.
The largest corporations and the most dominant countries in the world all faced problems at one time or the other — and they still do — problems are a commonality. But what makes them surmount these maladies is a strong sense of purpose and a willingness to pursue it.
But, importantly, how do we pursue a purpose we do not know?
This year’s topic heartily embraces the quest to realize this purpose, which is what makes it profoundly relevant to the Nigerian society.
[Final message] I think competitions like this help to sharpen one’s perspective on the political situation in the country. The research one carries out makes one appreciate the complexities and dynamics that form a part of the country’s constitution. I hope that competitions of this nature grow exponentially, so that, through this medium, more of our youths would be encouraged to look past the blighting miasmas in the public sectors, view their country in the positive light that it deserves, and renew the vigour we’ll need to build the country of our dreams.
Lastly, I’d like to express my gratitude to PositiveNaija, and more importantly, God, for this win. It’s an honour to be so associated with this noble organization.”
For more information on the competition, including the names of the participants, profile of the advisory judges, sponsorship contributions received, etc., see the official competition page.
The 2019 edition of the PositiveNaija Essay Competition, themed “The Value of the Life of a Nigerian!” had no finalist and winner with 57 entries.
The 2018 edition, themed “The Love of a Nigerian!” was won by Miss Akunna James-Ibe with 77 entries.
The 2017 edition, which was the first edition, themed “How Great Is Nigeria!” was won by Mr. Olawale Lekan Christopher with 46 entries.
“There are no hopeless situations; there are only men and women who have grown hopeless about them.
– Ferdinand Foch
PositiveNaija is a multimedia news, information and forum platform, with the vision of having the most reliable platform for informing the world of the truly impactful, positive, valuable, inspiring, educative and worthy updates associated with Nigeria and Nigerians globally based on consistent objectivity and excellence. The aim is to positively – inspire, educate and redefine the standards of Nigeria’s values based system.
As a human-centered enterprise, the mission of PositiveNaija is to continuously strive towards creating a good, well-informed and empathetic society for Nigeria and Nigerians through news management and impactful initiatives.