…As Kwara First Lady Bags Award
By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said the commonwealth’s values of human rights, inclusion, equity, empowerment and robust pluralism are timeless and invaluable for sustainable peace and development.
He added that those ideals continue to inspire billions of people worldwide.
Speaking at the official launching of the 2021 edition of the Queen’s Commonwealth Competition organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society of Nigeria (RCS) held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Thursday, the governor said those values unite various peoples across continents and have continued to foster peace and economic cooperation.
“The Commonwealth symbolises peace, togetherness, and equity,” AbdulRazaq said, just as he commended the RCS for taking the launching of the competition to Kwara State for the first time, a feat he credited to the magnanimity of the body and the goodwill of the First Lady of the state Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq.
“On behalf of the people and government of Kwara State, I commend the Royal Commonwealth Society for giving our state the historic privilege of hosting this important event.
“This competition offers a rare opportunity for young people from Kwara State to compete and showcase their talents to the entire world.
“It is a lifetime opportunity for participants to etch their names in gold, and I am convinced that the Kwara child will not lose such an opportunity. This essay competition, and the opportunities that come with it, represent some of the shared values of the Commonwealth,” he added.
Submission of entries for the competition, which has junior and senior categories and dated back to 1883, began across the Commonwealth countries after the launching in Ilorin on Thursday June 10 and would terminate on June 30.
Entries may be submitted through the website of the RCS, which also contains the guidelines for the contest.
Attended by Deputy British High Commissioner, Gill Atkinson, the First Lady of Kwara, representatives of the Ministers of Education and Foreign Affairs, cabinet members, and RCS Country Director Blackson Bayewunmi, the launching was preceded by a quiz contest involving students from basic, secondary schools and the University of Ilorin.
The wife of the governor, who bagged a special award of honour by the RCS, said the competition would spur the creative ingenuity of young people by giving expression to their innate thoughts.
“This event no doubt presents opportunity for our young people to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences on key global issues and have their hard work and achievement celebrated internationally.
“Like the Royal Commonwealth Society however, my office and Ajike People Support Center have chosen to champion the importance of literacy, equality and inclusion, the environment and connected communities and support the concerns of young people within the Commonwealth’s 54 member nations and indeed across the world,” she said.
Atkinson encouraged students from Kwara State to take part in the competition and make their respective communities part of the competition.
The Country Director Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria Branch, Mr Blackson Bayewumi, explained that 2020 edition of the competition received more than 11,000 entries from across the Commonwealth.