The University of Ilorin has won this year's All-Nigeria Universities Debating Championship (ANUDC), beating 19 other universities that participated in the competition.
The Championship, which is the fourth in the series, took place at the Covenant University, Sango-Ota, Ogun State between July 9 and July16, 2016.
Other universities that participated in the tournament were: the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Osun State University, Osogbo (UNIOSUN); the University of Calabar, the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA); the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO); the University of Port-Harcourt, Imo State University, Owerri; and the host Covenant University, Sango-Ota.
Others were Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo; Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki; Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; Evangel University, Igbinedion University, Okada, Benin City; Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai; and Godfrey Okoye University.
The University of Calabar came second while the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), took the third position.
Speaking at the event, the President of the ANUDC Council, Dr. Ndubuisi Osuagwu, praised the host University and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the tournament for “being a great team player with the Council, a high sense of responsibility and organization and for putting in place a most orderly championship, which clearly differs from previous experience”.
The University of Ilorin became the first outsider to snatch victory in a ring of famous old hawks, namely, Universities of Calabar, Lagos, and Imo State, which were known to be traditional leaders in the Nigerian debating community.
Members of Team Unilorin included: Agbede Tobiloba and Adekunbi Ademola (Team Murtala Muhammad); Abolarin Muhammad and Ambrose Omolola (Team Dora Akunyili); Bukola Smith and Usman Rukayat (Team Michael Okpara); and Jimoh Omotayo and Abikan Hawau (Team Stella Adadevoh).
For the Public Speaking Category, the students were: Usman Halimaa Ojone and Sanusi Sodiq, while Adediji Awwal and Eriba Deborah were judges at the Tournament.
The team was accompanied by Dr. A. A. Owoade, Mr. Ahmed Lawal, and Mr. David Ejim, the team's coach.
During the presentation of members of the victorious Unilorin team to the Vice-Chancellor last Wednesday (July 20, 2016), the Chairman of the Unilorin Debate and Quiz Committee, Dr. R. O. Arise, said, “Although the University of Ilorin attended only the Second Edition in Lagos in 2015, the contingent was not aware of the unique style of the debate competition until they got to the venue”. He however added that “with creativity, Unilorin braced the storm in order to fit in, which paid off in the long run”.
Dr. Arise stated that the Unilorin Team did not go into the competition with the mind-set of not only winning the championship but also to gain the requisite skills, experience, knowledge and technicalities of the British Parliamentary Debate System. He noted that concerted efforts would be made to promote the spirit of sportsmanship in not just debate but also quiz competitions among students.
Receiving the victorious team, a delighted Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), told the students that they have made themselves and the University of Ilorin proud. He commended the effort they put into the competition.
Prof. Ambali congratulated the students and their lecturers, saying that the University is glad to have them. According to him, “You are the pride of the University of Ilorin and you have proven that we are truly better by far”.
The Vice-Chancellor stressed that when he assumed duties in 2012, he promised to leave the University better than he met it, explaining that the students have made his job easier by achieving a feat that is first of its kind in the history of the University.
Prof. Ambali then announced a cash reward of N20,000 for each of the students and N30,000 for their officials.
The Vice-Chancellor was joined at the presentation by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji; the Registrar, Mr. E. D. Obafemi and the Deputy Bursar, Mr. O. Ogunbiyi.
Also in attendance were the Director of Academic Planning, Prof. O. A. Omotesho; the Deputy Director Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun and the Principal Assistant Registrars in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. A. Sayuti and Miss Funke Hudson.