Umahi rewards victorious Ebonyi debate team with N6m
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi on Saturday in Abakaliki rewarded the State’s debate team with six million naira for winning the recently concluded Democracy School Debate competition in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the championship was organised by the President’s School Debate Nigeria (PSDN), a non-governmental organisation, from May 24 to May 28 in Abuja.
Ebonyi team emerged the overall best in both the primary and secondary schools and also win several individual honours.
According to the governor, N4.5 million will be shared among the debaters, instructors and their schools.
He said N1.5million was for the Office of his Senior Special Assistant (SSA), on Higher Education which coordinated the team.
“The debaters will get 70 per cent of the amount; their schools will get 20 per cent while their instructors will get 10 per cent.
“This is to appreciate the efforts of the debaters in placing the state above other states of the country and the team’s officials for their immeasurable contributions.
“We have a covenant with God to be the first state in the country and His strength has given us the enablement to start realising the promise.
“The Catholic Church in the state has also appreciated the efforts of these worthy heroes by offering them scholarship up to the secondary school level”, he said.
The governor directed the commissioner for education to liaise with relevant authorities to ensure that quiz and debates become integral part of the school curriculum.
He said intelligent students such as those in the team would not indulge in examination malpractices or enrol in ‘miracle’ centres to pass their examinations.
The governor also approved a tour of Ghana for the team for adequate preparation towards representing the country in international debate competitions in Germany in July and Indonesia in September.
Mrs Adaeze Nwuzor, SSA to the Governor on Higher Education, thanked the governor for giving the team the desired financial and moral support which ensured the victory.
“The debaters were sourced from the 13 local government areas of the state which also produced two teachers each for necessary tutorials and selection.
“The best four debaters from each LGA in the primary and secondary schools were selected for the zonal competition where we eventually picked the state’s team”, she said.
She said the team defeated Niger and Taraba despite being tagged local.
Nwauzor also thanked the governor for approving that the team be named the ‘Ebonyi State Debate Team’ instead of his name as was the case in the past.
Miss Esther Obike-Ukoh, one of the team’s lead debaters, expressed gratitude to the governor for the reception, saying they had been motivated to win more laurels for the state.
“I am also thankful to my parents for teaching me the rudiments of debating, as this helped in my emergence among the best debaters in the state”, she said.