By Ralph-Chris Izokpu
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria H. E. Lee, In-Tae has called on young poets to focus, reflect and express their thoughts to the full on the meaning of freedom, liberty and self-determination along with the noble sacrifice our compatriots have made to entrench these values in both Korea and Nigeria.
In-Tae made the call during the 100th anniversary of the March 1st independence movement and award ceremony of the 9th Korea -Nigeria poetry feast competition for schools and adults categories on Thursday in Abuja.
The Korea envoy, in his message delivered by the Deputy head of mission Kim Do Hwan said the Korean peopIe’s will towards an independent nation was expressed powerfully enough to spread to China, India, Russia, Europe, America and all over the world.
The movement provided crucial momentum tor Korea’s Independence to be later achieved in 1945. including the establishment of the Provisional Government of Korea (PGK) in Shanghai, China in April 11, 1919.
The Korea ambassador said, “100th anniversary of the Provisional Government’s establnshment, there was a national celebration event held in Seoul at 19.19 today (11:19 In Nigerian time), where tens of thousands of people participated to share the joyfulness.
“The spirit of the March 1” Movement and establishment of the Provisional government is also engraved in the first sentence of the Republic of Korea’s constitution, which served as a foundation for Korea to overcome further difficulties in its modern history. the ashes of the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 and from the gloomy military autocracy from 1970 to 1990 to become a country of vibrant democracy and economy that we witness today.
Korean people wall always remember the noble sacrifice of our parents’ generataon who ardently wished free, peacelul and independent nation and courageoasly raised their voice and stood up agamst any unjust suppression.
ln this light, to commemorate the 100th annaversary of March 1th Movement, the theme for Korea- Nigeria poetry Competition for this year is decided for “independence”
“I wholeheartedly invite all the talented poets who are here today to reflect and express their thoughts to the full on the meaning of freedom, liberty and self-determination, along with the noble sacrifice our compatriots have made to entrench these values in both Korea and Nigeria”, he said.
“I value all the poets here, as your fine lines reflecting the history of the Korean and Nigerian people’s struggle toward their nation’s independence will inspire many of your readers all across the countty, which will resonate beyond the African continent to the whole world,” he said.
The Director General National Council for Arts and Culture, chief Olusegun Runsewe congratulated the people Republic of Korean on their centenary celebration and for show case their cultural way to the people of Nigerian.
Runsewe who Was represented by the Deputy Director National Council for Arts and Culture Mrs. Adeline Fompuw, promised a smooth cultural relations between Nigeria and Korean people.
Highlight of the program was the Korean Drama by Arojah Theatre was presented a short drama on the Korean independence movement. Notable among the characters is a young woman named Yu Gwan-sun. She was arrested while leading a demonstration but kept shouting “long live independent Korea” even in prison and eventually died in prison from injuries caused by torture and Awards presentation which was classified into 3 categories for the Poetry competition. They are the adult and student category as well as the Ambassador’s prize.
The Adult category: have 3 winners 1st prize N100.000, 2nd prize N75.000, 3rd prize N50,000 and 7 consolatlon pnzes of N25, 000 each. The School category also have 3 winners of 1st Prize of N50, 000, 2nd prize of N30‘ 000, 3rd prize of N20, 000 and 7 consolation prizes of Korean gift Items while the Ambassador’s prize has one winner got Korean gift Items.
In the school category, Emmanuel Okoro of Jewel model school Kubwa won the 1st prize while Shalman Silas won the 1st prize of the adults category. Blessing Omeiza Ojo won the Ambassador’s prize.