Ibrahim Abubakar, author of Season of Crimson Blossoms has won the Nigeria Prize for Literature for 2016 worth $100,000.
The NLNG sponsored advisory board of the prize announced this yesterday after a nine month long assessment. Chairman of the board, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo announced that Season of Crimson Blossoms emerged winner from among 172 other entries received for the competition.
According to Banjo, “It was a strong field this year. The shortlisted entries were very strong and the board had no difficulty in accepting the recommendation of the panel of judges, considering the subject matter and competent manner in which Ibrahim demonstrated the execution of his work.”
General Manager, External Relations at NLNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke in his reaction said the international consultant and the panel of judges agreed after a rigorous process. He praised the quality of entries received. He also reiterated that the company will continue to support integrity and excellence, which are the pillars of the company.
Ibrahim Abubakar, a journalist, beat two others, Dr. Chika Unigwe and Mr. Elnathan John, whose novels are Night Dancer and Born on a Tuesday, to win the biggest literary prize in Africa.
Ibrahim’s Entry Declared Winner By Judges
The decision on the winning entry of the Nigeria Prize for Literature was reached by a panel of judges. They are led by a well-respected literary critic and professor of Literature in English, Dan Izevbaye, professor of Oral and African Literatures at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Asabe Usman Kabir and first winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism and professor of African Literature in the Department of English, Imo State University, Owerri, Isidore Diala. The international consultant, Prof. Kojo Senanu of the University of Legon, is an internationally acclaimed scholar.
The panel had, through the advisory board, released a shortlist of 11 in July. Later, a shortlist of three was released last month. September 2016. The three shortlisted entries, were Born on a Tuesday (Elnathan John), Night Dancer (Chika Unigwe) and Season of Crimson Blossoms (Abubakar Adam Ibrahim).
Members of the board, besides Banjo, are former Minister of State for Education and erstwhile President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Prof. Jerry Agada, and ex-President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and the President of West-African Linguistic Society (2004-2013), Emeritus Prof. Ben Elugbe.