The YIAGA Africa’s Bounce Corruption Public Integrity debate has stormed Northeastern Nigeria which Gombe State University Hosting three other Universities in the region as anti-corruption campaigns goes to Nigerian Tertiary University students. The debate which was held on 7th March saw University of Maiduguri, Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University and host, Gombe state University go head to head debating about the effectiveness of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption strategy.
The Public Integrity Debate in the North Central Zone of the country provided an intense debate among students from Gombe State University, Federal Polytechnic Mubi and University of Maiduguri. The students explored an intensive approach in choosing to criticize or uphold their stand of their perception of the government anti-corruption strategy and its provision in improving an accountable society.
The debaters took turns to emphasis the turning point in the current anti-corruption strategy. Debaters from the Federal Poly Mubi supported the motion that the current anti-corruption strategy was working because it provides a new sense of direction from all the previous administration non-institutional approach in fighting corruption. They argued that the current government has made improved attempts in harmonizing institutions with an enabling law which provides clarity of interpretation for the institution to pursue establishment of credible justice and an accountable society from state actors and citizens alike.
Opposing with stringent arguments that the current anti-corruption was not working were debaters from the University of Maiduguri who provided critical points hinged on a perception that the government was running a confused system with disorganized chronicles of excuses portrayed as results of fighting corruption.
The debating pair cited that the anti-corruption strategy was flexible and relative in efficiency, citing lawmaker Joshua Dariye has receiving cover from judicial probing shortly after re-aligning with the ruling political party. Adding that anti-corruption strategy document is an adopted document that cannot tackle root causes of corruption in Nigeria while failing to give a coherent analysis of the war against corruption in Nigeria. The debaters described that without proper resolution against factors in war against corruption as proposed by Professor Chidi Odinkalu of the London Business School, the fight against corruption will be both incommunicable and ineffective.
Taking up the position also for the government were debaters from the Gombe State University who described the effort of government in the fight against corruption as both preventive and corrective. They argued on the motion that the anti-corruption strategy was working with evidence seen in the recovery of loot; rescue of kidnapped school girls and lecturers and resolving ammunition insurgency in the country by investigating sponsors of rebel groups. The team concluded on the premise that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done a lot to stamp out corruption.
The presiding judges included, Mr. Franklin Ubi, Secretary, All-Nigeria Universities Debating Council (Chief Adjudicator); Mohammed Baba Fika, Deputy Superintendent, ICPC Bauchi Zonal Office (Adjudicator) and Bello Adamu Bajoga, Head, Public Affairs Dept. EFCC North East Zonal Office, Gombe State (Adjudicator).
After intensive dialogue amongst the judges, Chief Adjudicator, Franklin Ubi announced the results with University of Maiduguri coming 1st, closely followed by Position Gombe state University in 2nd position while Federal Polytechnic Mubi and Abubakar Tafa Balewa Uni Bauchi came 3rd and 4th respectively.
While appreciating YIAGA Africa with the support of Macarthur Foundation for the initiative, the Head of Business Administration, Dr. Babangida Musa said he believes in the goals of the project; encouraging the orientation should be extended to young people under the age of 18 years. Also, from the Business Administration, Professor M. Musa described as intense and urgent the need to point young people in a direction to avoid sacrificing national development on the altar of greed.