Nsukka - Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, has applauded the creativity and hard work of Mrs Chika Unigwe, who won the 2012 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature.
Obi made the commendation in Nsukka, Enugu State, on Tuesday at the presentation of the award and cash of 100,000 dollars to Unigwe, whose work was adjudged the best entry for the year.
In his speech at the presentation, organised by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Obi promised that the state would celebrate those who achieved excellence in their chosen field.
"We celebrate excellence in Anambra by encouraging those who, through their creativity and hard work, brought honour to the state.
"The state abhors rascality, crime or those who make money via dubious means; they are not true sons and daughters of Anambra.
"I left my tight schedule to attend this ceremony because Unigwe has joined the likes of Chinua Achebe who had made the state proud through literary writing," the governor said.
Obi said his administration offered scholarship to Miss Rosaline Ijendu to pursue post-graduate studies in any part of the world for emerging the best graduating student in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), in the 2011/2012 session.
"We are doing so as to encourage hard work and excellence," he said.
The governor said that in recognition of the `outstanding’ achievement of Unigwe, the state would donate a land and build a house of her choice.
"I commend NLNG for instituting this award to honour the best literature writer of the year," he said.
In his remark, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Babs Omotowa, said the award was in recognition of those who distinguished themselves in science and arts.
"We are honouring her as a result of her book 'On Black Sisters' Street', which has been adjudged as the best literature for 2012 in the country.
"The aim of the award in arts and science is to encourage hard work among Nigerians," he said.
In his remark, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof Bartho Okolo, urged Nigerians to work hard.
"As a student, if you follow Unigwe's footsteps, one day in the future you will be a winner and will be celebrated.
"Success is not an event, it is a habit.
"I commend the literature award winner for doing UNN her alma-mater proud," the vice-chancellor, represented by Prof. Isaac Asuzu, said.
In her response, Unigwe expressed appreciation to her teachers’ from primary school to the university, who taught her well and made her achieve success.
She urged the government to equip school library to enhance quality education.
She also thanked NNLG for encouraging and rewarding excellence.