Less than 24-hours after SaharaReporters’ story on how organisers of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Essay competition had failed to pay winners of the contest their prize monies, the situation has now changed significantly.
Apart from paying all winners their money, the organisers also offered explanation on why it was delayed.
The essay competition was held to commemorate the 79th birthday of the former military Head of State.
Lead organiser of the competition, Earl Saka, and winners of the event all confirmed the payment of the prize money on Wednesday.
One of the winners told SaharaReporters that, “We have been paid, we just received the funds this morning.
“We are happy the organisers finally paid the cash prize as promised.”
Giving reasons for the delay in payment of the funds, Saka said it was due to other financial needs incurred as a result of the event.
He said, “First of all, many charitable activities were outlined towards the celebration of the 78th birthday of IBB which execution commenced on Monday, August 19 2019.
“Classrooms were to be renovated in some schools, medical bills of some indigent people to be settled, grants to be given to some students, scholarships for some students to study at El-Amin International Schools.
“A widow who lost her husband to his heroic feat was to be given financial support and the essay competition.
“In strict compliance to religious dictates, the family did not publicise these activities.
“These projects were executed in order of priority as deemed by the Press Office.
“The winners will corroborate my claims as I contacted them few days ago for their bank details.”
Saka stated that a dedicated account would be created for subsequent editions to eliminate a repeat of such delay.