CU, Others Compete for Honours at Debating Championship

CU, Others Compete for Honours at Debating Championship

CU, Others Compete for Honours at Debating Championship

A debater (right) stresses his points before the audience and judges during one of the debate sessions.

A team of debaters from Covenant University and representatives of 19 other universities from across the country are currently interfacing in the 4th edition of the All Nigerian University Debating Championship (ANUDC) being hosted by Covenant University on its campus at Ota, Ogun State.

The one-week long championship, declared open by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Taiwo Abioye, on behalf of the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor at the opening ceremony held on Sunday, is fashioned after the British Parliament debating style.

The objective of the competition, according to the Convener of the 4th edition, Motilewa Bolanle Deborah, is to inculcate in the Nigerian university students the use of words in civil conversations without resorting to fisticuff or violence.

“With debating, they learn to use their words very well, people learn how to articulate conversations, and people learn how to have a different opinion without beating somebody. Apart from that, it brightens their brains, you see them talking about policy related issues,” she said.

Explaining the format for the debate, the Convener said, “It is the type of system used in the parliament. So, we have four teams: the opening government, the opening opposition, the closing government, and the closing opposition. What happens is that the House, which is basically like the sitting involving everybody, will propose a motion and the Prime Minister, who is part of the opening government, goes to support this motion giving us the reasons, policies, how it would affect the environment etc. Now, the opposition is always there to go against what the government has proposed, giving us reasons why the government policy cannot stand.

“It’s taking a whole week because the National Debating Championship has a minimum of nine rounds before you break. And the break is after contestants have moved from the preliminaries to the semi and the final. Each round is 45 minutes plus. So, if you are having three of that every day, and you also have the briefing session as well, that’s why it’s taking that long.”

The major incentive for participants, said Motilewa, is for their institutions to emerge tops. “At the moment we don’t have cash prizes, but we have trophies. So, apart from the first intellectual incentive everybody that comes here gets, there is also the advantage of networking. We have here people from different universities in Nigeria; we also have staff, heads of institutions.”

The first National Universities Debating Championship (NUDC) was held at the Imo State University, Owerri, and the hosts were declared champions. Subsequently, the competition was renamed the All Nigerian Universities Debating Championships (ANUDC) the University of Calabar, which hosted the first edition of the rebranded debating event in October 2013, emerged tops.

The second edition of the ANUDC was hosted by the University of Lagos, which also won the tournament. Imo State University, Owerri, staged the third edition.