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South-South Universities Debate Championship 2012
10 Jun 2012 - 14 Jun 2012
Prof. Eze Bassey, Dr. Ndubuisi Osuagwu
The University of CalabarCalabar, CR
The University of Calabar Debating Committee has been involved in serious debating activities over the years. It has actively participated in both the Pan-African and World Universities Debating Championships. Indeed, at the last Pan-African Universities Debating Championship (PAUDC) which was held at Falcon’s College, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2011, the University of Calabar was awarded the prestigious hosting rights for PAUDC 2013. That was in recognition of its excellent performance in the events. In line with the award, the University was mandated to mobilize other Universities in Nigeria and West Africa for the tournament, as a strategy to disseminate the culture of debating within the country, sub region and continent.
In consonance with this, and the deep concern for an enduring resolution of the perennial challenge of abundant resources at the mercy of poor governance, the University of Calabar is hosting the inaugural South-South Universities Debate Championship on the theme, Nigeria’s Oil: In Search of Good Governance. The Committee regrets that in spite of the many advantages of debates, our society does not appear to be aware of the need for discussion, as a means of resolution of socio-political difficulties. Nigerian Universities, too, which should take the lead, have virtually no real or significant place for the endeavor. The culture of debate is virtually non-existent.
The Culture of Debate
Debate is a very effective weapon in the development of democratic values. In a developing democracy, such as Nigeria, debate has the capacity to break down the walls of the primordial considerations that have largely held the people down, in order to pave the way for understanding, tolerance and accommodation in the midst of strong contending views, and against the background of reason. Many people are often oblivious of, or uninterested in, government policies and programmes. Debate informs, involves and inspires the citizenry on issues affecting their development, either as individuals, or as a collective.
Debate is an avenue for healthy interaction and advocacy. It enhances public dialogue and engenders global critical thinking by encouraging participants to look carefully at the root causes and implications of controversies. It compels the individual to identify, carefully analyze and propose ideas on how to solve problems, taking into account other contending views.
It is understandable, therefore, that in the absence of the culture of debate, impunity, corruption and mismanagement often define governance. Equally, the frustration arising from these, often lead to the kinds of self-help among the citizenry that create insecurity and relentlessly threaten society. Indeed, the Nigerian society needs to develop the habit of discussion and to debate its experiences more, as a matter of course.
About the Theme
The oil and gas resources available to Nigeria in the Niger-Delta region should ordinarily be a source of strength in its national development. The management of those resources has, unfortunately, raised issues of equity, transparency, justice, and security. Above all, it has, ironically, raised doubts about the continued existence of the country as a single entity. Frustration and self-help leading to outright criminality and general insecurity appear to be the consequences of the obvious mismanagement of those resources.
Over the years, successive governments have generated policies which appear to be largely inadequate, leading to policy somersaults and inconsistencies. There have been screams of marginalisation, injustice, exploitation, greed, corruption, leading to probes, the efficacy of which has been mainly doubtful. There is real need for discourse and to expand the space for debate, to accommodate the youth whose present frustration and the definition of whose future station, hinge on the governance of Nigeria’s wealth today.
Objective of the Tournament
1. To provide an enabling platform for University students/youths to
constructively engage governance and the management of natural resources
and reforms in Nigeria
2. To provide a tool for the enhancement of critical thinking, communication skills, and the creation of good democratic ethos amongst young people, who are invariably the future leaders of society.
3. To foster linkages between youth organizations and key policy makers
4. To empower students to play an active role in facilitating dialogue on the various social and political issues of their communities.
5. To contribute meaningfully to the search for enduring peace and security in the Niger-Delta region.
6. To create a platform for the establishment of Nigeria Debating Council which will facilitate the dissemination of training materials, coordination of debating events and cooperative fundraising efforts for future tournaments and training sessions.
ContactSouth-South Universities Debate Championship 2012
The University of CalabarCalabar, CR