The University of Ibadan Literary and Debating Society this week rolled out plans for the commencement of the seventh edition of the annual Jaw War competition.

The organisation has also launched its website.

Jaw War, a months-long annual knockout oratory battle, now in its seventh edition, pitches halls and facilities in the university against one another as they slug it out on predetermined debate topics.

When hostilities start in September, participants would be gunning for a prize money of N1 million among other prizes, organizers said. This is an upgrade to the scrappy reward winners went home with in the past years.

Popular among students, and much-coveted by many, the competition comes with a lot of bragging rights among winners and mild rivalry among halls of residence and faculties in the university.

Cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the organisation’s president, Otito-Jesu Ayeni, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES that “we are expanding our frontiers” of the competition this year to extend beyond the shores of the University of Ibadan for it to have a national outlook.

Jaw War 2021 starts in September and runs through to October

Mr Ayeni added that the preliminary stage of the tourney will be held between September 15 and 18, while the quarterfinal rounds will be staged on September 22 and 24.

The semifinals, the statement added, will hold six days later and the finals on October 8 for Unibadan competitors. The national championship will be held between October 19 and 21, the statement read.

“We have instigated an interaction with prospective competitors and the ultimate goal is to build a platform where University of Ibadan will serve as a focal point of yoking various institutions and produce pure, raw intellect as we engage in social conversations,” Mr Ayeni said.

Otito-Jesu Ayeni, the president of the University of Ibadan Literary and Debating Society, speaking at the press briefing

“Being the first time Jaw War will be going national, we are looking at engaging 30-35 schools at the preliminaries and eventually shortlist the top 7 to join University of Ibadan, to battle for the ultimate prize,” he added.

Themed “Africa in the era of the new normal,” this year’s edition of the championship, Mr Ayeni noted, will have a total of 65 topics debated in the bid to proffer solutions, propose policies and spread ideas.

“Jaw War version 7.0 is one that will bring a change to the existing irregularities and all in a bid to make the event bigger, better and stronger, we will be making some reforms to the modalities of Jaw War,” he said.

The president presenting his speech

“For instance, for quality control and effective speakership, we will be training 250 speakers in preparation for the competition; we shall make use of 20 fact-checkers to verify facts and statistics given by the speakers; we also will have an exhibition of speech making in 3 different indigenous languages and many more.”

Mr Ayeni further sought the support of the public to help his group to reach the ₦6 million budget they have papered.


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