Students of the University of Ilorin last Tuesday (May 19, 2015) clinched the first position at the finals of the 2015 All Nigerian Universities’ Challenge (ANUC), tagged “Better by Far Challenge”, defeating six other tertiary institutions in the country. Osun State University, Osogbo placed second, while the Kwara State University, Malete, won the third position.
The competition, hosted by the University of Ilorin, drew participants from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; the Federal University, Lokoja; the University of Jos; the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete; Osun State University, Osogbo and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba.
In the “Best of Brains” category, Adekunle Ajasin University and Ahmadu Bello University tied for the first place position with 450 points each, while the Federal University, Lokoja, placed third with 200 points and the University of Jos placed fourth with 150 points.
While declaring the competition open earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. (Mrs.) N. Y. S. Ijaiya, noted that the competition was one way of promoting academic excellence.
Citing examples of influential leaders like Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, who, she noted, began their careers as political leaders right from the University and even at lower levels, Prof. Ijaiya told the audience that, “through debates like this, we are promoting the power of oratory and we know that this is not a universal gift, some are more gifted than others and when we bring students like these together, it provides an opportunity to showcase their talents.”
Prof. Ijaiya further explained that the competition offers a platform for the training of present and future leaders, by promoting critical thinking, which allows young people to proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the immediate community and the world at large, saying that “this kind of programme will allow us to identify such talents in our younger ones, which they can promote and in future will be able to contribute politically, economically and essentially to the development of Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Dr. R.O. Arise, said that the All Nigerian Universities’ Challenge provides a platform for the university students in Nigeria to be informed in contemporary national, continental and global challenges through robust engagement in intellectual competition. He appreciated the management of the University of Ilorin under the leadership of Prof. Ambali for supporting the University Quiz and Games Committee and for the sponsorship of the dinner and award ceremony for the programme.
Dr. Arise noted that the University boosts intellectual competition among the students by developing quiz and debates clubs, adding that the participation of club members in various debates and quiz competitions has added more laurels to the dignity of the University.
At the close of the competition on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, the Vice-Chancellor, represented by the Dean, Students Affairs, Prof. A. O. Omotesho, in an interview, described the event as a very interesting one, which would have been a lot more exciting if more universities had participated.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Osun State University, Dr Anthony Kola-Olusanya, in his remarks, commended the authorities of the University of Ilorin, saying “What the University of Ilorin has proved is that, beyond sports, students can also be engaged to do other things. This is an intellectual competition that makes our students to read more than just thinking about physical activity.”
On his part, the Deputy Dean of Student Affairs, University of Jos, Dr. A. Damey, described the competition as “an eye opener”.
At the end of the competition, the students were presented with certificates of participation. The team Unilorin was presented with a plaque and three PC tablets; Osun State University received a plaque and two PC tablets while Kwara State University was presented with a plaque and one PC tablet for their efforts.