The authorities of the University of Maiduguri have said that they did not issue a congratulatory letter to one of their lecturers, Dr. Yakubu Nura, who claimed to have won a global award in Physics.
The much-criticised award, bestowed by The World Championship, classified Nura among the world’s great such as Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Hippocrates, Sir Isaac Newton, and Louis Pasteur.
But while his employers denounced his claims, Nura has maintained that his award is genuine and not fraudulent.
Nura became a sensation on the social media some days ago after The World Championship had declared that he had won the World Physics Competition.
The organisers further claimed that Nura defeated 5,720 “contenders” from 97 countries to emerge winner of the award, stating that Nura has subsequently become ‘the Father of Modern Einstein’s Planetary Equation Studies in Physics.’
Some Nigerians and politicians bought into Nura’s claims, and they had called on northern governors and President Muhammadu Buhari to “celebrate the award” in order “to encourage scholarship” in the country.
Reacting to Nura’s award, Nigerian writer and Associate Professor of Journalism at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, United States, Dr. Farooq Kperogi, was unimpressed.
He noted that the award was fraudulent, and pointed out that aside from the fact that the group did not have its own website, “the award was given at a fee.”
Kperogi also cited other Nigerians who had been dubbed “fathers” of whole disciplinary specialties by “fraudulent sites.”
A visit to the website of the awarding body shows a Google-generated site that is everything but professional.
Again, its email is Google-based, unlike professional emails and authentic sites that credible award bodies must have.
The site states that registration can be done via the email address - firstname.lastname@example.org, and that registration “happens every month each year.”
The long list of so-called winners include ex-President Obasanjo; entrepreneur Mo Abudu; writer Chimamanda Adichie; and footballer Mikel Obi — all of whom are Nigerians but were categorised as Kenyans by the body that claimed to have given them earth-shaking awards.
Its latest awardee, Dr. Yakubu Nura, was also put into “an exclusive list” of “Six famous persons who changed the world.”
Nura was listed as number two on a list that included Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Hippocrates, Sir Isaac Newton, and Louis Pasteur.
The website also went a step further to encourage private organisations and governments to name “roads, gardens, statues, community halls, centres, and programmes” after Nura, its newest awardee.
The website also claims that “World Championship is organised by International Agency for Standards and Ratings” — another site that claims to be “Universal Agency for Book Number.”
Meanwhile, more than a week after our source had sent an email to The World Championship to confirm the authenticity of its claims about Dr. Yakubu Nura, there had yet to be a response.
On his own, Nura, who spoke to our source on the telephone on Monday (today), said many media houses had called him, asking for interviews on his “feat.”
He, however, said that he needed the permission of UNIMAID management to grant any interview.
The 51-year-old claimed that UNIMAID had already given him a congratulatory letter — a claim that the institution has refuted with strong words
Asked if he was aware that the award might be fraudulent, Nura 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 (sic).”
When our source told Yakubu that UNIMAID had already denied knowledge of the award in a statement, he said, ‘No no no. I have a letter from them.”
When he was contacted earlier, the spokesperson for UNIMAID, Mohammed Ahmed, asked our source to tell Yakubu to show the purported congratulatory letter written by his university.
“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,” Ahmed said.
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