Mudathir Hayatullahi (Abu Lubabah) writes,

On Thursday, 30 December 2021, the team representing Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, emerged as the overall winner at the second edition of the Caliphate Debate competition.

The three-day tourney, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Kasarawa, Sokoto, started on Tuesday 28 December 2021 through Thursday 30 December 2021, where the two students who represented UDUS defeated the other seven teams by emerging the overall winner at the end of the program. 

The duo that represented UDUS were Fauziya Faruk Yabo, a 300 level Education and Biology student from the Faculty of Education and Bashir Bunamin Balogun, a 400 level student from the Faculty of Agriculture. 

Bashir Bunamin Balogun emerged as the best speaker at the end of the debate and earned a reward of five hundred thousand naira (₦500,000) for himself. The UDUS team also claimed ‘the overall best team’ crown, accompanied by a five hundred thousand naira (₦500,000) cash prize, totalling a million naira (₦1,000,000) booty for the UDUS team.

Team Says It is an Unforgettable History

When one of the team members, Fauziya Faruk Yabo, gave Pen Press an interview, she expressed her joy at UDUS being the overall winner of the debate. 

“UDUS being the overall best is a pride to all Danfodites, not only us the participants. It is an unforgettable history,” she said. 

Bunamin Bashir Balogun added that UDUS students are always marvellous, and they outshine others wherever they find themselves. 

“This is another great win from UDUS, and it remains an unforgettable one. 

“For me being awarded as the best speaker at the competition, the happiness of the day made me forget all the obstacles I have been facing so far in my life,” Bunamin added, with a soft smile on his face. 

Fauziya and Bunamin also revealed to PEN PRESS that the support they got from different people, who motivated and encouraged them, made them feel they could represent UDUS well. 

“At a point, I felt like, in fact, I have to do it, and Alhamdulillah we made it,” Fauziya said excitedly, and Bunamin nodded in affirmation.

She also said that the preparation for the debate wasn’t easy as she had to always check for updates about happenings in Nigeria. 

“Because I am not that current, to be frank with you, so that’s why the preparation was a kind of difficult for me,” Fauziya continued.

“I burnt many candles, revised, and rehearsed. At a point, I cried, praying to the Lord never to forsake me, but use me to elevate UDUS more,” Bunamin added. 

Fauziya told PEN Press how she worked with her co-speaker as a team. She confessed that Bunamin didn’t take her as a mere colleague but as a sister and friend, putting her through the preparation process.

“And for him emerging the best speaker, I already had the feeling right from the onset. I knew it that he would surely win that, and he proved that to me,” she happily expressed. 

The representatives, however, expressed their gratitude to the organizers of the Caliphate Debate. They also prayed for UDUS management for their immense support.

“To the convener, Najib Waziri, our prayers will always be with him because it’s not only a matter of winning the most. The program is a blessing to all the students in Sokoto State because it’s also a way of gaining more knowledge. 

“To the UDUS management, all we can say is, we are proud of the management. They’ve played a vital role during the exercise. They supported us with everything we needed. May Almighty Allah blesses them and rewards them abundantly,” they prayed.

Fauziya, on the endnote, encouraged her fellow Danfodites never to be discouraged or give up on anything they want to do. She said they should always put in their best and support their struggles with fervent prayers.

“Life is hard sometimes, but it’s worth fighting, it’s worth believing, it’s worth mustering yourself up, standing up inside yourself, it’s worth fighting relentlessly. Always put your best and pray. In Sha Allah, you will have a happily crying-smiling face at the end,” she encouraged.

UDUS Management Expresses Happiness 

Prof. Lawal Suleiman Bilbis, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, while addressing the students, he said that it was a great pleasure for him, the UDUS management and the entire students to have such a big win and award. He said that at the previous year Caliphate Debate, a  representative from UDUS emerged as the overall best speaker, but the UDUS team didn’t emerge as the best team. 

With happiness, he said that the 2021 edition was a great blessing as it had added a new beautiful record to the history of UDUS.

“Today is one of the happiest days in my life,” the Vice-Chancellor happily confessed. 

Prof. Aminu Muhammad Mode, the Dean of Students Affairs, congratulated the winners and UDUS students. He thanked the students who supported their fellows by gracing the event to support and encourage them on the podium. 

He admonished the students to continue making UDUS proud. He also advised them not to relent in their academic activities.

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