YOBE and Adamawa states have emerged winners of the 33rd edition of the annual National Qur’an Recitation Competition organised by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto.
At the competition, which was rounded off last weekend in Gombe, the Gombe State capital, Tijani Muhammad from Yobe State defeated competitors from other states in the first category for males featuring memorisation of the complete Holy Qur’an with tafsir, i.e., running commentaries on some portions of the Holy Book.
In the female category, Zainab Mahmud from Adamawa State came first after beating other competitors.
The two winners were presented with new Toyota cars and cash awards by the governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, who was the chief host of the 10-day competition.
Kwara State came second in the third category for males which featured memorisation of two-third of the Holy Qur’an with Uthman Uthman from the state emerging the second best. In the sixth category of the competition for males, Kwara State also came second through Abdul-Rafiu Ahmad.
There were winners from other states with cash and other prizes given to them.
Reports from the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG), which covered the event, indicated that there was a spectacular happening during the competition as Edo State presented an eight-year old female competitor, Bashirat Ahmad Abubakar, who participated in the memorisation of the complete Holy Qur’an.
She was presented to the audience at the closing ceremony held at the Gombe State Stadium.
Speaking as the special guest of honour, President Muhammadu Buhari described the event as spiritually rewarding.
Represented by the Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan, Buhari commended Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto, for initiating the competition 32 years ago and the government and people of Gombe State for hosting this year’s competition.
In a lecture, Professor Salisu Shehu of Bayero University, Kano, called on Muslims to challenge social injustice in the Nigerian society whereby the wealth of states and the nation is concentrated in the hands of a few.
A total of 344 competitors from 34 states of thee federation comprising 176 males and 168 females took part in the competition.
Several past winners of the competition, including Mukhtari Abdullahi (1989) from Kano State, Shehu Sulaiman (1992) from Plateau State and Sadeeq Sadeeq (1996) from Zamfara State attended the event.
Lagos State will host the competition in 2020.
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