Rivers Appoints 18-year-old Sophia Awajibene as Commissioner
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The River State Government, on Tuesday, appointed Miss Sophia Awajibene, an 18-year-old secondary school leaver, as the Commissioner for Information and Communication.
Miss Awajibene occupied the position for just 30 minutes after her outstanding performance in an intensive essay competition organized in the state, emerging the winner after scoring 79 per cent ahead of 14 others.
To encourage her, she occupied the post and was also awarded a cash prize of N60,000, a plaque and declared an Ambassador of the Rivers State Ministry of Information and Communication.
Applauding the performance of the candidate, the incumbent Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, said it this was to oppose the sad commentary in the country as to the discouraging reward given to participants of decent competition in contrast with shows like Big Brothers Nigeria.
He stressed the need to encourage young people in earning good reputations through hard work, honesty, and integrity, adding that the ministry intends to continuously inculcate the right values through a similar essay competition.
“I got feedback that made me feel very bad about the prizes we were to give the winners. People asked, why would the prizes for an intellectual competition be N50,000, N30,000, and N20,000.
“They queried, didn’t I see how much they are getting in Big Brothers? but that is a sad commentary about our country today, everything is monetized,” Mr Nsirim said.
The competition was the second phase of the Ministry’s #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign in Port Harcourt. Being the winner, Miss Awajibene also becomes the face of the campaign.