LEBCRA ASVC Tackles Drug Abuse in Fiery Debate Competition

By Michael Babatunde

The Anti-Social Vices Club of Lagos East Baptist Conference Royal Ambassadors, in collaboration with The Career Careers Impact Initiative (CareerCarrierz), hosted a dynamic senior secondary school debate competition on February 3rd, 2024, at The Ade-Adegbite Hall in Obanikoro, Lagos. This event tackled the pressing issue of drug abuse among students, sparking passionate debate and insightful discussions.

Mary Adeyemo, Founder & Director of CareerCarrierz, emphasized the event’s alignment with the NGO’s core mission: “advancing education, employment, and empowerment.” She stressed the debate’s significance as a platform for young minds to articulate their thoughts, challenge perspectives, and embrace the transformative power of critical discourse. “The world is shaped by those who dare to question,” she asserted, encouraging attendees to become “Ambassadors of change” equipped with the power of their words.

Adedolapo, Director of Programmes at CareerCarrierz and Anti-Social Vices Club Coordinator of Lagos East Baptist Conference Royal Ambassadors, explained the chosen debate topic: “The rising tide of drug abuse demands a shift in approach – prioritizing rehabilitation or punishment?” serve as a means of curbing the prevalent intake of drugs by the youths in the country. Thirteen Lagos State secondary schools participated, passionately arguing either for prioritizing rehabilitation or punishment in tackling drug abuse among their peers.

The event boasted a distinguished panel of five speakers and judges: Marvelous Emi-Johnson, Solomon Usuanlele, Seyi Adedokun, Amanda Dirisu, and Christina Adeyemo. Chief Judge Mrs. Emi-Johnson, Lead Trainer of Ace Diction Brainery, outlined the evaluation criteria, emphasizing the importance of clear and confident presentation.

In addition to the competition, participants enjoyed an engaging indoor games session and a valuable panel discussion on choosing the right career path. Moreover, the short film “STAGES – An Anti-Drug Addiction Movie” directed by Solomon Usuanlele served as a powerful visual reminder of the devastating consequences of drug abuse.

To celebrate achievement and encourage potential, Uche Praise from Reagan Baptist Girls High School, Yaba, emerged as the overall best orator, receiving a 100,000-naira prize. Baptist Academy Obanikoro, Reagan Memorial Baptist Girl High School, and Baptist High School, Isolo, Lagos, secured the top three positions, respectively. Scholarships for WAEC and JAMB exams, cash prizes, and other awards were presented to winners and outstanding participants, including the youngest debater and the best-dressed debater.

Michael Areo, Director of the Royal Ambassadors Lagos East Baptist Conference, presented awards to all winners and judges. Adedolapo announced scholarships for all participating schools, totaling over one million Naira. He reiterated the organization’s commitment to supporting education, empowerment, and employment, emphasizing their belief in shaping the future of Africa through these efforts.

This well-attended event (over 370 participants) served as a powerful platform for raising awareness about drug abuse, encouraging critical thinking, and celebrating academic excellence. The collaborative efforts of the organizers and participants demonstrate a collective commitment to fostering a healthier and brighter future for Nigerian youth.

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