By Ridwan Ojewale

The (Central) Literary and Debating Society (TLDS) has on Monday released the final draw for JAWWAR 2018. The highly anticipated draw has come less than two months to the public speaking tournament; the biggest of any Nigerian University. As it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the university, the 2018 edition is tagged “The Nigerian dream; thoughts and actions (celebrating UI AT 70)”.

As is the tradition of the tournament, there are four stages for the hall category and three for the faculty’s. While there are two matches (home/propose and away/oppose) for the preliminary stage of the hall category, there is just a shot at the quarter finals in the faculty’s. Alexander Brown hall, the defending champion will take on Ransome Kuti hall, the 2016 winners at the first round of the hall category. Clinical science, the 2016 winners (in the faculty category) will also battle education at the preliminaries as Dentistry drags it on with Art. The two halls (ABH and Kuti) will be meeting at the preliminary stage for the first time as ABH was constantly drawn against Bello hall in the past preliminaries.

At the 2017 edition, Alexander Brown hall won in the hall category, Clinical sciences advanced to the semis and dentistry lost narrowly to faculty of technology (which later made it to the finals) at the preliminary stage. ABH speaker, Nwazuoke Anastasia also won the outstanding speaker award of the competition, Oladeji Eunice won the best finals’ speech award and Ridwan Ojewale was one of the three nominees for the overall best speaker award of the competition.

ABH has a track record of losing their first jawwar match as was demonstrated in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Bello hall qualified for the quarter-finals leading ABH with an aggregate score of 0.4 after they (i.e ABH) had defeated them in a strong (away match) come back. A similar thing played out in 2017 but ABH, this time, managed to clear the deficits of the first match with an impressive win in the return leg.
If ABH wins against kuti, they’ll face the best loser of the preliminary stage at the quarter-finals. Clinical science with a win will also face Basic Medical Sciences who won the automatic ticket to the quarter-finals; one won by the former in the edition. Dentistry will also then, face the winner between faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary medicine.

Although, about a dozen of their finest speakers are graduating, ABH still remains a formidable force in UI public speaking. Expectations are very high among Brownites and Uites of ABH as news of their (last year) feat continue to trend in all halls’ and faculties’ debating societies.
A source from within informed ABH PRESS that preparation for the tournament (set to commence on 26th of September) has begun since the release of the draw and that the ongoing recruitment exercise (which would end soon) is also a step towards a successful outing.

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