By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Students of two secondary schools in Niger State have won slots to fly Nigeria’s flag at the World Schools Debate Championship to be held in Croatia next year.
The students are from the Government Secondary School, Minna and the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Kontagora. The students competed with students from several countries in Europe, Africa and other continents at an International President’s School Debate Tournament in Czech Republic.
The students displayed courage, resilience and good unwaivery team spirit to beat other participants at the championship to emerge top and win the slot to represent Nigeria at next year’s World Schools Debate to be staged at Slovenia, Crotia between June and July.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state poured encomiums on the victorious students and acknowledged that they had done the state and country proud.
Governor Bello assured the students of adequate support to enable them to represent the country at next year’s World Schools Debate.
He said no amount spent on them to fly the country’s flag at the world event would be too much as they have put the state and Nigeria on a global reckoning.
He congratulated the students for their courage and experience in the pursuit of laurels. He enjoined them to prepare well ahead of the championship.
Governor Bello announced a bumper gifts to the students from the state government. Each of them is to receive scholarship grant, payment for JAMB registration fees and N50, 000 cash for each of them from the state government.
National Coordinator, President Schools Debates in Nigeria, elder Dare Orettu said the students were exemplary in conducts, fearless and courageous in their presentation.
He said the essence of debate was to prepare students for leadership roles, how to speak in public, muster a good carriage and how to tolerate other people’s opinions in any discourse.
He said debates also promotes national integration and unity and how to settle conflicts and disputes without flexing muscles.
The Director of Programmes, President’s Schools Debate Nigeria, Professor Benedith Emunemu expressed great and satisfaction with the quality of performance by the students from Niger state.
He disclosed that the delivery style and performance by the students was the best ever by any Nigerian school who had participated in the the seven year old international school debate championship.
Prof. Emunemu disclosed that it was based on the sterling performance of the students that the national advisory board of the President Schools Debate Nigeria, (PSDN) selected the students from Niger state to represent the country at the World Schools Debate Championship to be staged in Slovenia.
One of the proud students, Shamsiya Usman from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Kontagora recounted their tough journey to the championship where they encountered hurdles from judges, the harsh European cold weather and from fellow debaters. She disclosed that the international debate tournament was very challenging.
Other students who are part of the wining team include Kingsley Omolaja, Aliyu Bala Ibrahim and Aminu K. Abdullahi all from the Government Secondary School, Minna.