By Olugbenga Salami
Yobe and Adamawa States are to represent Nigeria in the international Qur’an recitation competition holding in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia later in the year.
Representatives of the two states emerged overall best in the categories of male and female competitions featuring memorization of the complete Holy Qur’an with Tafsir, that is, running commentaries on some portions of the Holy Book at the just concluded National Qur’an Recitation Competition held in Gombe, the Gombe State capital.
Tijani Muhammad from Yobe State and Zainab Mahmoud from Adamawa defeated competitors from other states in the first categories of male and female competitions.
They were presented with brand new Toyota cars and cash awards for the maintenance of the cars by the Executive Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo who was the chief host of the 10-day competition.
Kwara State came 2nd in the 3rd category of the male competition featuring memorization of two-thirds of the Holy Qur’an with Uthman Uthman from the state being the second best.
Also in the competition of 6th category of male competition, Kwara State also came 2nd with Abdul-Rafiu Ahmad winning in that category.
According to reports by the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria that covered the event, winners from other states were rewarded with valuable cash and material prizes given to them.
It stated that there was a spectacular happening in this year’s Competition as Edo State presented
It stated that an eight year’s old female competitor, Bashirat Ahmad Abubakar from Edo State, who fielded in the memorization of the complete Holy Qur’an, was later presented to thousands of audience that witnessed the formal closing ceremony of the national competition.
Special Guest of Honour at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari represented by the Minister of Environment, described it as spiritually rewarding and commended Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto for initiating the national competition for the past 32 years as well as the government and people of Gombe State for hosting this year’s competition.
In his lecture, Prof. Salisu Shehu of Bayero University, Kano called on the Muslim Ummah to challenge the social injustice in the Nigerian society whereby wealth of the states and the nation are concentrated in the hands of few, noting that this was part of the results of corruption, greed and avarice in the country.
A total of 344 competitors from 34 states in Nigeria comprising of 176 males and 168 females took part in this year’s national competition.
Meanwhile, Lagos State will host the next competition in 2020.