The Nigerian University Geography Student Association (University of Ibadan Chapter) Organized the first of its kind Inter-varsity Debate in honour of three Emeritus professors (Prof. R.K Udo, Prof. F Faniran and Prof. Filani) all in the Department of Geography University of Ibadan on the 3rd of March, 2013. This grand event hosted eight Universities including the University of Ibadan, Geography department.
Though more than eight Universities were invited but only seven honoured the invitation excluding the University of Ibadan which was the host of the event.
The Universities include;
1. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology which was represented by Elujoba Adejoke Daniel and Malomo Emmanuel O who were first and second speaker respectively
2. Olabisi Onabanjo University represented by Adeoshun Aderonke (first speaker) and Ogunjimi Oluwayomi (second speaker)
3. University of Ilorin whose speakers were Amole Stephen Oluwole being the first speaker and Adansere John being the Second speaker.
4. Tai Solarin University (TASUED): Oguntoye Seyi (first speaker) and Adesere John (second speaker)
5. Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto whose speakers were Mustapha Umar and Amina Abdulazeez
6. University of Lagos represented by Taiwo Jokotola. T (first speaker) and Olakitan Ayoola (Second speaker)
7. University of Ibadan: Adebayo Olakunle Micheal (first speaker) and Elumelu Uchechukwuka C. (second speaker)
8. Obafemi Awolowo University whose speakers were Udosen Vincent (first speaker) and Akande Tolulope (second speaker)
The event was opened by an Opening prayer, National Anthem and the University of Ibadan Anthem. The Head of the Department of Geography, Dr Ibidun Adelekan gave an Opening remark where she highlighted the fact the foundation of Geography in Nigeria lies here at the Department of Geography, University of Ibadan.
Dr D.D Ajayi read the citations of the three Emeritus professors where their achievements were cited and it was evident at the end of the citation that these three Emeritus professors are not tired of impacting positively to the society.
The various speakers from the eight different Universities were called to Debate the topic that brought them to the occasion which was; THE INSURGENCE OF TERRORISM IN NIGERIA: GEOGRAPHY, RELIGION OR ECONOMY WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE. Though, some schools debated the subject as THE INSURGENCE OF TERRORISM IN NIGERIA: GEOGRAPHY, RELIGION OR ECONOMY WHICH BEARS THE BRUNT but the judges graded them with a full knowledge of this.
The debate was finally kicked off when the first speaker from Ladoke Akintola University took the stage with an argument that the impact of terrorism is more felt on the environment than on Religion or Economy. In other words he submitted that Geography bears the brunt. The second speaker who was called at the second round started with an unexpected Yoruba proverb and concluded that Geography bears the brunt.
The speaker from Olabisi Onabanjo University pointed out that even freedom fighters are terrorist. She also claimed that the reason for insurgence of terrorism as regards “Bokoharam” is as a result of uneven development between the North and the South, pointing out that Nigeria is a mono economic Nation in terms of development. She blew the minds of the audience when she made us to understand that the estimation of the impact of terrorism cannot be perfect (where she explained that the number of deaths cannot be perfectly estimated) where X and Y are unknown. The second speaker pointed out that the Nigerian economic situation remains a paradox and that poor leadership and poverty are both responsible for the insurgence of terrorism. “When people are not engaged they become agent of evil (terror)”, she concluded. From the above it is obvious that the speakers form this institution argued that Ecomomic factor is responsible for the insurgence of terrorism in Nigeria.
The first speaker from University of Ilorin defined Terrorism from Concept to General. Where he defined terrorism from the concept of the United Nation’s department of defense, here he pointed out that the concept of terrorism includes Fear, Violence, Intimidation e.t.c. He also claimed that we stand with one leg imagining where the next attack will take place and he added it could be here! (audience screamed). He argued that Geography is responsible for the insurgence of Terrorism where he included ethnicity, socio-cultural factor, uneven distribution of natural resources and the rivers which do not favour the Northerners and Climate change is shrinking the rivers hence taking jobs from Fishermen. He also disclosed that the Upper Volta has been damned reducing the amount of water entering the rivers in the up north. These facts made him ask why will Northerners not resolve to violence (terrorism)? The second speaker came in and put an icing on the cake.
Tai Solarin University claimed that the Structural Adjustment Programme represents Structural Destruction programme, which was introduced in the 80s was one of the major problems of our Nation. This single Policy crippled our Nation, rendering our economy useless. This speaker argued that Economy not Religion or Geography is responsible for the insurgence of Terrorism in our Nigeria. He also pointed out that the Marriage by our Colonial Masters between the South and the North constitute the Major problem we face today.
Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto argued that the Economy and not Religion or Geography is responsible for the insurgence of terrorism Nigeria. One of the first speaker’s very strong punch lines was that “a Hungry man is an angry man” he gave reasons why Economy and nothing more is responsible for terrorism. These reasons include: unemployment, Poverty, Backwardness (on the part of the govt.), illiteracy, health related issues (where life expectancy rate of men and women is below 50 yrs.).The second speaker also commemorated these facts.
University of Lagos’ first speaker defined a terrorist in a rather unique way where he opined that a terrorist is a person or group of persons who fight to decide how a resource can and cannot be used or who can have access to it ( this terrorist most be a radical Geographer). He stated that the northerners’ claimed that Economic development is not in their favour but he said the question now is 52 yrs of leadership in this country the North has led the more therefore whose fault is it that the Northerners ruled yet did not develop their region. Economy is never and can never be the reason for terrorism but Geography, he concluded. The second speaker added that to solve the issue of terrorism is not pointing fingers but coming together to build our Nation.
The speakers from university of Ibadan took a different touch pointing out that all the three factors (religion, economy and Geography) are responsible for the insurgence of terrorism in Nigeria but dwelled so much on Religion as the major causal factor terrorism. In their words religion in itself is not enough to explain terrorism but it is sad that it is employed as a tool for terror. Where one of the speakers sighted an example on how the statue of Jesus was pulled down in the 90s as a result of Religious crisis in University of Ibadan.
Obafemi Awolowo University speakers were the last to speak and they submitted that religion despite economic challenges is responsible for the insurgence of Terrorism in Nigeria.
The result of the debate was announced as given below
3rd Position: University of Ilorin
2nd Position: University of Ibadan
1st Position: Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
The best speaker was given to Mustapha Umar of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
A report written by Amanambu Amobi