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Adelani Temiloluwa
School Of Nursing Ondo
Nursing Student
300Level, Nigeria.

A lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, who was reported to have received a controversial world award, Dr Yakubu Nura, has refuted claims that the award is fraudulent.

Nura said his university had already issued him a formal letter of congratulations on the award.

The lecturer became a sensation on the social media some days ago, after a group, known as The World Championship, announced on its website that he won the World Physics Competition.

The website further claimed that Nura defeated 5,720 ‘contenders’ in 97 countries to emerge winner of the award, which made him ‘the Father of Modern Einstein’s Planetary Equation Studies in Physics.’

Some Nigerians and politicians had called on the governors of the northern states and President Muhammadu Buhari to celebrate the award and to encourage scholarships in the country.

However, a social commentator, Dr Farooq Kperogi, alleged that the award was fraudulent, pointing out that aside from the fact that the group did not have its own website, the award was given to Nura at an unspecified fee.

Kperogi, who is an associate professor of journalism, also cited other Nigerians who had been dubbed ‘fathers’ of whole disciplinary specialties by the ‘fraudulent site’.

Checks by The PUNCH also showed that the website always put winners of its awards in exclusive lists of people said to have changed the world.

For instance, one Dr Itodo Eleojo, a Nigerian, was among “10 famous personalities from Kenya who changed world”. The list of the “Kenyans” included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chinamanda Adichie, Mikel Obi and Mo Abudu.

UNIMAID’s Nura was also put into an exclusive list of “Six famous persons who changed the world”. Nura was number two on the list, including Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Hippocrates, Sir Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur.

The website urged private organisations and governments to encourage students and young scientists by naming roads, gardens, statues, community halls, centres, programmes, after Nura.

More than a week after our correspondent sent a mail to the website to authenticate its claims, there had yet to be a response.

Nura, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, said many media houses had been calling him for interviews on his feat.

He added that he needed the permission of his school management to grant any interview.

The 51-year-old lecturer noted that UNIMAID had already given him a congratulatory letter.

Asked if he was aware that the award might be fraudulent, he said, “What’s fake? You can contact the university management because they had replied me with a letter congratulating me. So, these are the people that can authenticate.”

When our correspondent told Nura that his school had already denied knowledge of the award in a statement, he said, ‘No. I have a letter from them.”

The spokesperson for UNIMAID, Mohammed Ahmed, asked our correspondent to tell Nuru to send the purported congratulatory letter from the university to The PUNCH.

“Ask him who gave him the letter. If he says he has a letter from management, tell him to send it to you on WhatsApp,” he added.

Nura could not be reached again as his telephone line rang out.

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