1. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim will be smiling home with $100,000 as he today emerged the winner of the 2016 edition of the Prize for Literature sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) after a nine-month long process of adjudication.

    Making the announcement at a World Press conference in Lagos, the Chairman of the Advisory Board for the prize , Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo stated that Ibrahim’s novel, ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’ emerged winner from among 172 other entries received for the competition.

    According to him, “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.”

    Reacting to the verdict, the General Manager, External Relations at NLNG, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said “It has been a very rigorous process and we are very happy that at the end of the day, both the International Consultant and the Panel of Judges came to an alignment. We are very proud of the quality of entries received. Let me reiterate very clearly that we will continue to support integrity and excellence, which are some of the pillars we have built NLNG’s success as a company on,” he said.

    According to him, the decision on the winning entry adding that the Nigeria Prize for Literature was reached by a panel of judges, led by Professor Dan Izevbaye, a well-respected literary critic and professor of Literature in English; Professor Asabe Usman Kabir, professor of Oral and African Literatures at Usmanu DanfodiyoUniversity, Sokoto and Professor Isidore Diala, first winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism and professor of African literature in the Department of English, Imo State University, Owerri. The international consultant, Professor KojoSenanu of the University of Legion, is an internationally acclaimed scholar.

The panel, he said had, through the Advisory Board, released a shortlist of eleven in July 2016 and later, a shortlist of three in September 2016. The three shortlisted entries, in alphabetic order, were Born on a Tuesday (Elnathan John), Night Dancer (Chika Unigwe) and Season of Crimson Blossoms (Abubakar Adam Ibrahim).

He further noted that the members of the Advisory Board for the Literature Prize, were Professor Banjo, two-time Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan, are Prof. Jerry Agada, former Minister of State for Education, former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, and Professor Emeritus Ben Elugbe, former President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and president of the West-African Linguistic Society (2004-2013).

Eresia-Eke recalled that the Nigeria Prize for Literature has since 2005 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2005, poetry), Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2005, poetry); Ahmed Yerima (2006, drama) for his classic, Hard Ground; Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) with her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary (2008, prose); Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book The Missing Clock; Chika Unigwe (2012 – prose), with her novel, On Black Sister’s Street; Tade Ipadeola (2013; Poetry) with his collection of poems, Sahara Testaments and Sam Ukala (2014;Drama) with Iredi War.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.