The final shortlist of three writers has been approved by the Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited.
This followed an initial shortlist of 11 which was released in July. The three shortlisted writers are Friday John Abba (Alekwu Night Dance), Jude Idada (Oduduwa, King of the Edos) and Sam Ukala (Iredi War).
According to the Chairman of the Advisory Board, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, the eventual winner of the competition would be announced at a World Press Conference on 9th October, 2014.
Friday John Abba, a playwright was Chairman of Kaduna Writers' League and former Vice Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
Playwright, theatre director, film producer and an academic, Sam Ukala was the Chairman, Delta State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Ukala’s other published plays include The Slave Wife, The Log in Your Eye, Akpakaland and Break a Boil.
Jude Idada, a screen writer, filmmaker and dramatist, has published works in the three genres of literature. He is the author of Flood, Brixton Stories and Lost. He is also the winner of the 2013 Association of Nigerian Authors’ Prize for Drama with his book, Oduduwa: King of the Edos. Idada, who currently lives in Canada, is a graduate of Theatre Arts, from the University of Ibadan.
The chairman of the Panel of Judges is Charity Angya, Professor of Theatre Arts and Vice-Chancellor at Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State. Other members of the panel are Prof. Ahmed Yerima, a past laureate of the Prize and professor of Theatre Arts, Redeemer's University, Mowe, Ogun State; and Prof. Akanji Nasiru, a well-respected scholar and professor of Performing Arts, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State.
Other members of the Advisory Board, besides Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, are Prof. Jerry Agada, former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors and Prof. Ben Elugbe, former President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature had since 2004 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara for his volume of poetry, The Dreamer, His Vision (co-winner 2005 – poetry); Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto, for his volume of poetry, Chants of a Minstrel (co-winner 2005 poetry); Ahmed Yerima (2006 – drama) for his book Hard Ground Mabel Segun (co-winner 2007 – children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner 2007 – children’s literature) with her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary (2008 – prose) for her novel Yellow Yellow; Esiaba Irobi (2010 – drama) who won the prize posthumously with his book Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011 – children’s literature) with his book The Missing Clock and Chika Unigwe