Chairman, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Advisory Board Prof. Ayo Banjo, announced Abubakar Ibrahim’s book Season of Crimson Blossoms, as the best work in 2016.
Ibrahim beat two other finalists Elnathan John ('Born On A Tuesday') and Chika Unigwe ('Night Dancer').
Ibrahim, a journalist and editor of Arts and Ideas page at Daily Trust on Sunday, stated: "What I wanted to do was to, in a way, drag this part of the country that has been absent in the body of Nigerian literature into the mainstream. That was my major goal. Because there's no way you can tell the Nigerian story if it is not balanced and hasn't been for decades. We have had stories from the south about the south and nothing about the north, so the narrative isn't balanced. So something has to be done instead of sitting down and complaining.”
Before the shortlist, 173 authors participated in the competition, said the Prize’s Advisory Board.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature has since 2005 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2005, poetry), Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2005, poetry); Ahmed Yerima (2006, drama) for his classic, Hard Ground; Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) with her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary (2008, prose); Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book The Missing Clock; Chika Unigwe (2012 – prose), with her novel, On Black Sister’s Street; Tade Ipadeola (2013; Poetry) with his collection of poems, Sahara Testaments and Sam Ukala (2014;Drama) with Iredi War.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.