The Bauchi State Government has gifted 10 winners, participants and judges of the 36th National Quranic Recitation Competition which was held in the state the sum of N25 million.
The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, who announced the donation in his speech at the closing ceremony of the one-week long competition at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, on Saturday, also announced the award of scholarships to the 10 male and female winners up to university level.
Mohammed said all the 10 male and female winners of the competition would be given N10 million, the participants N10 million while their judges would be given N5 million.
The PUNCH reports that the donation is not part of the N140 million donated by the Bauchi State Government to aid the organising of the event.
The overall best winner in the male category, Abba Muhktar from Borno state, who recited 60 portions of the Quran with Tafsir went home with N3 million. The overall best winner in the female category, Haulatu Ishaq (18) from Zamfara State, who also recited 60 portions of the Quran with Tafsir, went home with N3 million.
Musa Ahmed from Borno State from the male category and Fatima Sani, who both recited 60 portions of the Quran without Tafsir went home with N2 million each.
Governor Mohammed also offered a scholarship to the university level to Aisha Usman, from Cross River State for being the youngest participant in this year’s event.
He said, “I am highly touched by the young people who came here and even by the attitude of the Sultan who defied the weather and all the Emirs and Ulamas who spent nine days with just little that we gave but they have been able to do so much.
“We have winners but there are no losers. So, as a state we want to do more; those who came here for competition, I’m going to give them a token reward just to show them that I appreciate them because, without them, there won’t be any competition.
“I will give all those 328 people that have come, women and men N10 million. Those who won will also be given N10 million and the judges, N5 million. This is to say that we appreciate and that everybody is a winner.
“And I was discussing with the Sultan and my government, what do we do? In consonance with what the guest speaker said to deepen knowledge and conquer our environment, to be in tune with time and place, what we can only do is to give education.
“Therefore, all those who won the competition here, Bauchi State Government is going to give them free scholarships up to the university.”
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, announced a scholarship award to one Aisha from Bauchi State for impressing him in the recitation of the Quran.
“When I heard that somebody was so moved at the little girl who recited the holy Quran for us here, that he shed tears and he brought out N10,000 crisp notes to be given to her. I wondered what that N10,000 would do to her. I have adopted this girl. Summaiya will be Sultan’s student until she gets her degree in the university.
“I was also told that one Christian man was so impressed with her and gave her N5,000, that’s the spirit of peaceful coexistence. By Monday, we will be having our Inter-Religious Council Meeting and I think these are ways we should foster unity and relationship between Christians and Muslims in this country. I want to assure you that we will not be dragged into a religious war in this country, as long as we are leaders,” he declared.