The maiden edition of the Robert Sunday Iworiso Essay Writing Competition for senior secondary schools in Bayelsa State will hold on August 22 and 23, 2017 at the Ijaw National Academy in Kaiama.
The competition is being organized by a non-profit organization, the Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation in conjunction with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Bayelsa State Chapter and the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education.
At a press conference in Yenagoa to formally announce the competition, a director of the foundation, Chief John Iworiso explained that the competition is part of a series of activity to better the lot of people and to engender meaningful change and development in the society.
He further explained that the aim is to discover talented pupils of Bayelsa extraction, with untapped potentials, encourage and support them to fulfill their career as well as inspire them to become change agents and equally make them the true leaders of tomorrow that they were born to be.
Chief John Iworiso used the opportunity to thank Governor Seriake Dickson for the huge investment he has made in education, human capacity and critical infrastructure, stressing that in few years to come the state will benefit from the wise decision.
“We must all commend the revolutionary strides of the Dickson-led Restoration government for its huge investment in education and for clearly identifying with the fact that education is the strongest and most potent weapon to fight against poverty, underdevelopment and oppression in whatever shape or form.
“In Bayelsa State today, we are in dire need of dreamers and visionaries in the mold of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson who lives in a Future of Bayelsa State that refused to yield to the economic recession of the day”.
According to him, the foundation will soon commence Book Clubs in all secondary schools in the state with the sole aim of impressing on them the need to develop a culture of reading.
“As you all know, readers are ultimately leaders and as such, in our quest to raise a new generation of leaders for our region, the concept of a “Book Club” will go a long way to instill in our students the importance of reading as a means of encouraging them to prepare for leadership,” he said.
On his part chairman of the organizing committee, Micheal Afenfia said the star prize for the competition is one million naira while there will also be consolation prizes for some contestants.
He pointed out that the essay competition is another means to tell the world that in Bayelsa there are abundant talent and not the frequent negative narrative being ascribe to the people.
The Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation, was founded a little over a year ago by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor and it is named after his late father.
Since it came into existence, the foundation has carried out several programs to enhance the well being of some indigenes of Bayelsa State including a recent skill acquisition program it organized in conjunction with an international organisation, Helping Hands where over 100 people benefited from the one week training in soap and detergent making, baking and confectioneries, perfumes, etc.