Osuji Chukwuebuka, Best Debater in 2016 ANUDC.
An Imo State University (IMSU) student, Osuji Chukwuebuka has been ranked joint overall Best Speaker in the recently concluded 2016 All Nigerian Universities Debating Championships held at the Covenant University, Ogun State.
By so doing, the second year Library and Information Science student became the first new debater to outrank older and experienced debaters in the nation to clinch the title in his first national universities debating tournament!
University of Lagos’ Nwaokoro Nzube was the joint best debater at the competition. They topped the speaker tab outperforming the other 134 speakers that represented their institutions including speakers from University of Ilorin, University of Calabar, Federal University of Technology Owerri and Akure, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, University of Port Harcourt, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University among others.
They duo tied on a speaker average of 77.88 in all nine preliminary rounds of the championship. However, Ebuka and his teammate, Anyanwu Emeka (6th, 76.55) could not continue with the knock-out rounds of the competition due to certain council rules.
The ranking is just another cap in Osuji’s less-than-a-year impressive debating career. It is his first national universities competition. He had been named overall 4th best speaker in his first ever NDC Open championships earlier in May 2016.
“I feel really impressed. I was not expecting (the ranking) as I knew the competition was difficult and there were many old speakers that had won best speaker awards in national and open championships in the same competition. Yet I felt satisfied because being an IMSU Debating Union speaker means there’s added pressure to keep being at your best, to defend the reputation of the Union and Institution. Notwithstanding other issues that prevented us from competing in the outrounds, I felt great.”
When asked to share his most memorable experience during the competition, Ebuka said “To come out of those preliminary rounds, those frequent top room battles as the top speaker with your friends, opponents and judges congratulating you and saying it was a great performance meant so much.”
Osuji Ebuka was also the 1st runner up to the Public Speaking winner from Covenant University.
A team from the University of Ilorin (Tobiloba Agbede & Adekunbi Ademola) was the winner of the championship at the finals.
“It’s important for men and women to use debate as a platform to breakdown existing barriers to peace and stereotypes. As a tool for changing mindsets and questioning prejudiced attitudes at work, politics and home” added Anyanwu Emeka.
Osuji Ebuka is the 2nd IMSU Debating Union speaker to achieve this same feat since the tournament was renamed in 2013. The other IMSU winner was Ogbuokiri David Ugochukwu in 2014 when he also was 1st runner up to the Public Speaking Championship.
Other Imo State Universities speakers on the tab are Ayozie Joy (41st), Okorie John (44th), Chimezie Thomas (50th) and Junila Chibundu (64th) out of the 136 speakers that competed at the tournament.
It would be recalled that IMSU’s Ekenze Modestus Uchenna and Nwagha Christopher Ugochukwu were joint winners of both the top speaker’s award and champions’ award in 2011 when the tournament was known as Nigerian Universities Debating Championships and about 6 institutions were in attendance.
The 2016 All Nigeria Universities Debating Championships saw 68 teams from about 17 Nigerian universities.
After graduation, Ebuka looks forward to working closely with NGOs in helping with the plight of women and children