Three students emerged winners in an essay competition organised by ActionAid Nigeria, an NGO, for 141 girls from secondary schools across the country, with the aim of promoting essay writing in public schools.

The winners were: Miss Gloria Agaba, a JSS I student of Christ College, Bolorunduro, Akure, Ondo state, who came first and won a cash prize of N100,000; Miss Mercy Elijah , JSS II of Hope Comprehensive Secondary School, Akwa Ibom, was first runner up and went home with N70,000; and Miss Queen Aghogho, a JSSIII student of Orhoerha Secondary School, Delta, was second runner up and received N50,000.

The presentation of the awards including text books, dictionaries and instructional materials took place at a one-day event tagged: ” The Quest for Social Justice, Women, Girls and Youths on the Move” organised by ActionAid Nigeria in Abuja.

Presenting the awards to the winners of the competition, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, applauded the abilities of the winners and their contributions to the issues of social justice in order to end violence against women and girls.

Represented by Mr Oluwole Elegbede, Director of Finance, Obi said that ActionAid was committed to addressing the widening social inequality in the country.

She noted that the social issues affecting women, girls and youths must be tackled, while calling for collaboration of like minds in tackling the challenges of underdevelopment in the country.

“ActionAid’s engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explores a comprehensive and collective strategy that speaks on specific goals and targets

“ To this end, a meeting was convened to agree on the goals to engage in and ActionAid’s global team identified SDGs4(Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equally), 8 (Decent work and economic growth and 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).

“We cannot hope for sustainable development without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law.”

Obi urged other stakeholders to learn from the implementation of the identified goals and also raise awareness on existing issues and proffer better ways of engagement to achieve the set goals.

She also advocated the provision of adequate public amenities in and around schools, hostels and rural communities to make schools safer for the young ones.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the overall winner, Miss Agaba thanked the organisers and her parents for creating the enabling environment for her to excel.

Other winners told NAN that they would strive to do better in subsequent competitions.

NAN reports that about 141 girls from secondary schools across the country made their submissions on the topic.(NAN)