Nigerian undergraduates participating in two essay competitions thrown open to them by the Kano based Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD) are dodging one of the essays, the organisers have disclosed. The competition and prizes that could be won avails the students opportunity to test themselves on reasoned argument and writing skills which are in high demand in the world of work. Students are concentrating on the aspect of the competition which is asking them to make a report on any abandoned project in one local community or another. This would need to be backed up with photographic evidence or demonstration of such a project. The report itself would be written on a form to be accessed and downloaded from the website, www.reportaproject.ng
This means they are not paying equal attention to the second aspect asking them to write what the organisers call an innovative piece on how to combat corruption and out of which a set of judges will assess and select the six they consider to be the best. Subsequently, an online poll will be opened for public voting to select the best three. This competition is open to undergraduates and students in institutions of higher learning.
It is not readily clear why students in higher institutions of learning might be less enthusiastic in taking up such an opportunity. Could it have to do with lack of analytical verve or lack of concern for the impact of corruption on their own prospects in life or is this their own solidarity with the practice even at their own level ahead of graduating? Or could it be that they do not consider the prize mouth watering? Whichever one it is, there seems to be a hint that the war against corruption in Nigeria still lacks conceptual demonstration in such domains as students, market women, the urban poor, lumpens and similar constituencies. That is, politicians might have substantially shaped it in their own image, as nothing more than a matter of accusations and counter-accusations.