In what many have termed as historic, the University of Ibadan (UI), winner of the 2017 Annual Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi Debate & Essay Competition, has beaten the likes of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), University of Uyo (UNIUYO),Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and University of Lagos (UNILAG), to once again emerge champion of the 2018 edition.
The keen contest which took place at the new auditorium of UI on 14 June 2018, witnessed a massive turnout of notable dignitaries, professors, pharmacy students, and a panel of judges comprising legal icons, public speakers and media personalities.
In attendance were Prof. Kolawole Jaiyeoba, one-term vice-chancellor, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State; Prof. Oluwatoyin Odeku, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan; Mrs Chika Oriaku, principal assistant registrar, UI and Dr Olumuyiwa Alabi, sub-Dean (undergraduate), UI.
The debate bothers on three sensitive topics – “The Solution to Nigeria’s Beleaguered Healthcare System: Adequate Funding or Good Leadership”; “The Fundamental Challenge of Pharmacy Profession: Pharmacy Education or Health Policies” and “NHIS: A Worthwhile Endeavour In The Expansion of Access To Quality Healthcare?”
At the end of the intense debate, the judges declared UI representatives as champions, after garnering 79 points as against second-placed OAU’s 75. UNIUYO scored 73, OOU 69 and UNILAG 65.6.
In other categories, Khadeejah Babalola was honoured with ‘Best Debater’ award; Charles Ibe (from Obafemi Awolowo University) won ‘Best Orator’ award while Temiwunmi Akinmuleya, candidate of UI clinched the ‘Overall Best Speaker’ award.
Meanwhile, Chidera Anushiem was announced as the first prize winner of the 2018 essay competition, while Kuye Bukunmi and Saheed Sanyaolu emerged second and third winners respectively.
While explainig the criteria deplored to decide winners, Dr Hameed Adediran explained that the panelists considered a number of factors ranging from number of points garnered, manner of presentation, dress code and composure.
In a related development, Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, was also given a special Award of Excellence for birthing the essay & debate contest, as well as his consistency with Pharmanews journal since 1979.
It would be recalled that the Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi Debate & Essay Competition initiative was launched in 2014 with a mandate to allow each year’s winner host the next contest.