University of Calabar (UNICAL) has won the All Nigerian Universities Debate Championship (ANUDC). The debate, which was hosted by UNICAL, focused on the theme “Corruption, Insecurity and National Development”.
The five-day event featured nine Nigerian universities. The Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. Eyong U. Eyong, who is also the Chairman Local Organizing Committee, blamed the poor participation on the ongoing ASUU strike, which kept many students away from school.
The debate kicked off with an opening ceremony and training session for the debaters. It was presided over by the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Larry Odey.
In his remark, Prof. Eze Bassey, who is also the convener of the event, said that the aim of the event was to promote the spirit of debate, which is one of the keys to solving societal problems.
While declaring the event open, the chief host and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof James Epoke, said UNICAL is committed to its aim of promoting teaching and learning by exploring avenues that would boost the intellectual exposure of the students and also giving them opportunities to participate in national and global competitions.
The opening ceremony also featured the formation of the Nigerian Debate Council with membership drawn from each institution.
The debate had a total of six rounds, quarter final, semi-final and grand finale. UNICAL took the first position in all the rounds, apart from the fourth round which was won by UNIPORT. The debate format used was the British Parliamentary Debate.
After the grand finale, debaters from UNICAL, Archibong Emmanuel and Aka Augustine had the highest points of 1980 and 1978 respectively. Also, another debater from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Charles had 1610.
UNICAL took the first position, while the second and third positions went to UNIPORT and Imo State University (IMSU) respectively.
University of Lagos (UNILAG), Bayero University Kano (BUK), Cross River State University of Science and Technology (CRUTECH), Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) and University of Uyo (UNIUYO) took fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eight positions, respectively.
In a chat with our correspondent, one of the debaters that represented Michael Okpara University, Nkemakolam Agommuo, said their setback came from the debate format used.
“The Parliamentary Debate format is new to us. It is not fully in use in this part of the world. We are not used to it. I hope that next time we shall have enough time to develop more on the format,” she said.
Also speaking, Aka Augustine from UNICAL described the Parliamentary Debate Format as an internationally adopted format. “The format is an international standard. In UNICAL, that is the standard with which we use to train our debaters. We have to invest more on intellectual development by adopting international best practices”, he said.