The-Bait Debate Tournament Finale organized by NYSC Members

Tuesday, the 17th of December, 2013 saw the conclusion of The-Bait debate tournament, a Community Development Service project taken on by a group of Batch A corps members serving in the state of Osun. The venue for the epoch-making event was the Open forum hall of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC), Oke Baale, Osogbo, Osun state. Thanks to a partnership deal struck up between The-Bait crew and OSBC, the 11-episode debate tournament was recorded over an interval of two days to be broadcast (at a later date) on OSBC channel 32 UHF, Osogbo, Osun state with Omotayo Alor (The-Bait ambassador to OSBC) as the presenter.

Chisom Ojukwu with winners
Oroghene Chokor, Osun central coordinator of the The-Bait, was on hand to throw light on the nature of the project. The-Bait is spread out over three stages; the first was an essay competition in which all high schools were invited to participate. The entries were pruned down to 9 finalists from all three districts of the state after which the second stage, a training workshop, followed. This workshop was held in the OSBC Open forum hall on saturday, 16th November, 2013; Corps members Omotayo Alo, Oroghene Chokor and Chisom Ojukwu tutored the students (finalists and all other participants) in areas of writing, communication in media and debating using English language. This paved the way for the third and final stage, a tournament of manifesto-styled debates which was structured to nurture skills of research, astuteness, thinking on one's feet, creativity and of course, oratory. 

At the commencement of the tournament, the nine finalists who had earlier been split into Groups 1, 2 and 3 dueled like titans over three debates each the last of which was a round of impromptu motions randomly picked on the spot by the finalists. After the preliminaries, the victors from the three groups were pitted against each other in a final three rounds of grueling debates on topics ranging from politics and society to sports and tourism. The finalists in an interesting twist were all females - Oyelade Adedoyin, Lawal Kabirat and Ogungbe Blessing, a fact which was humorously highlighted by Mr Sola Bolaji who was representing the Director-General at the awards ceremony. All it did, Mr Bolaji stated, was add color to proceedings while issuing a challenge to the male youths, a challenge which he wished they would take up in ernest. In his address, Mr Bolaji commended the corps members whose initiative and zeal to impact their immediate environs birthed The-Bait. He implored for more of such in the near future while encouraging the students of Osun and Nigeria to be alert and ready to utilize such opportunities when they came along.

The-Bait Crew with winners
Lawal Kabirat of Rex Varsity Comprehensive College, Osogbo emerged as the winner of The-Bait tournament with a cumulative average of 89%, Oyelade Adedoyin of Adventist High School, Osogbo came in second with 84% while Ogungbe Blessing of Goodness Comprehensive College, Ikire finished third with a cumulative score of 66%. Plaques were awarded to the winners in addition to electronic gadgets and books; the other students were awarded certificates and the winning schools took home bundles of books as well. Chisom Ojukwu, State coordinator of The-Bait, in his final address expressed his appreciation, on behalf of The-Bait crew, to God, NYSC, OSBC and the state of Osun for the success of the project. "It is a dream come true for us", he said.

There was a little recreation too as another batch A corps.member, Brian led the guests, students and audience in a rendition of Micheal Jackson's We Are The World
About Guest Blogger
This post was written by Chisom Ojukwu, a guest contributor. Chisom Ojukwu is a serving corps member of the Federation whose broken and thoroughly Nigerian heart continues to hope ferociously in a brighter future. If you'd like to guest post for Inspire Naija check out our Write for Inspire Naija for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community