Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
Three Nigerian undergraduates have won categories of cash prizes for coming top at the grand finale of the Expression Undergraduate Debate Challenge 2017 to commemorate the 2017 International Anti-corruption Day celebrated every December 9.
The programme anchored by Youngsters Foundation Communication Associate with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and BEN TV, London held at the Banquet Hall of the NAF Event Centre, Abuja.
The project is designed to be an annual platform that leverages the culture of citizen debate to stimulate and raise youth voices and participation in contemporary national issues.
The event featured 36 undergraduate teams from different tertiary institutions in Nigeria who emerged from three different auditions in November 2017.
According to the Executive Director, Youngsters Development Initiatives, Mr. Kingsley Bangwell, the three finalists won N500,000, N300,000 and N200,000 respectively. He announced that the winners are from Team Quota (University of Ibadan), Team Dunamis (University of Ibadan) and Team Roar (University of Jos).
“Here are the full details of the winners: First is Team Quora – Adeyemi Idowu 500L Law and Thanni Obafemi, 200L Philosophy; second is Team Dunamis – Adesokan Adediran 300L Law and Nwagbara Izuchukwu Temilade, 300L Law; and third Team Roar – Chinedu Isagbha, 300L Law and Henry Tabansi, 200L Political Science.”
Bangwell added that the goal of the project is to raise youth awareness, voice and action against corruption in Nigeria. “Raising a generation that is informed, positively engaged in nation building and projecting a great future is the responsibility of all.
“We see the debate as a mutual and strategic platform to further advance these national aspirations, which also align with the spirit of patriotism.”
Further justifying the need to create anti-corruption awareness, he said, “according to the United Nations, it is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development especially in developing countries like Nigeria.
He said in August 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and the European Union released a report stating that about 95 per cent of Nigerians are willing to indulge in bribery.
“Most alarming about the report is the aspect stating that young Nigerians aged 35 to 34 years about 36.4 per cent of the entire population have the highest prevalence of bribery in the country. It is against this backdrop that we are focusing this edition of the Expression Debate on the 2017 Anti-corruption Day.”
As part of the post-debate activities, the winners will conduct step down debate in secondary schools in their communities, as well as promote the ‘I Choose Integrity’ campaign among young citizens.