Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Chiekezie Favour, a 12 year old JSS 2 student of Mountain Crest School, Owerri, Imo state, was recently crowned the winner of the junior category of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) essay competition haven beaten thousands of other students that participated in the competition.
In a historic moment, President Muhammadu Buhari, presented the award/plaque to her at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, which was part of activities to mark the ICPC’s 20th anniversary held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Other awardees include, Matilda Daniel’s whose work was adjudged the best in the senior category of the essay writing, while CSP. Francis Osagie Erhabor and Hamza Adamu Buwai won the Public Service Integrity Category, as well as Adeboye Opeyemi, who won the music category.
Chiekezie, who spoke to Journalists at the ICPC headquarters, Abuja, described receiving her award from President Buhari as dreamlike.
She said: “I’m very grateful to President Buhari for personally presenting the award to me. I never thought I could meet the President of my country. I cannot describe the joy I felt collecting my award from him and taking pictures with him. I can never forget this moment.”
When asked if her school prepared her specifically for opportunities such as the essay competition, Chiekezie said her teachers and the proprietor of her school encourage students to build on their talents and take on challenges that will improve their intellectual capabilities.
She added: “My teachers and the founder of my school encouraged me at different stages of the competition. I had their full support and I thanked them for this. I wrote on the topic ‘A good name is better than gold.’’
Meanwhile, the winner of the senior category, Matilda Daniel’s, said it was a rewarding moment for her. The 14 year old wrote two essays, “The Role Of The Youth In The Fight Against Corruption” and “My Dream Of A Corruption-Free Nigeria”, to emerge winner for the Senior Secondary School category.
On her part, the founder of Mountain Crest School Owerri, Mrs. Akudo Okafor, said her student’s victory in the junior category of the essay competition is great moment in the history of her school.
She said: “Indeed, I am excited today. The prayer of every parent is that their children excel in life. I see my students as my children and their success as mine. Today is a day I cannot forget in a hurry. Teaching students the best when it comes to writing skills is part of curriculum.