By Sahr Eric George
Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In an engaging town hall debate hosted by the ECOWAS Parliament (Eco Parl) in Freetown, the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) College emerged victorious against Fourah Bay College (FBC). The debate, held during the fifth legislature of Eco Parl, focused on the theme: “ECOWAS Parliament will thrive better under direct election (universal adult suffrage) of members into the ECOWAS Parliament rather than continuing with the nomination of MPs from their national assembly or equivalence.” IPAM supported the motion, while FBC opposed it.
Honourable Sidie Mohamed Tunis, the Speaker of Eco Parl, welcomed all attendees to the town hall meeting and highlighted the critical role of education in personal development. He shared his commitment to supporting students, announcing that he and his wife had secured ten billion Leones to pay university fees for one hundred students over the next five years. Additionally, he pledged support for first-year students who perform well by providing them with laptop computers.
Encouraging students to see the debate as a stepping stone to public speaking, Hon. Tunis emphasized the importance of education and urged young people, especially students, to prioritize their studies.
The debate, lasting thirty minutes with two debaters from each institution, featured Mohamed Santhawahaj Bangura and Hawanatu Bangura representing IPAM, and Anthony Belmore and Mohamed Mangoh representing FBC. The motion favoured direct election (universal adult suffrage) into the ECOWAS Parliament.
Hawanatu Bangura, representing IPAM, attributed their success to the preparation and dedication of the university’s Debate Council. Despite the short notice about the debate, she expressed their determination to win, noting that everything went smoothly with the judges and the atmosphere.
On the other hand, Mohamed Mangoh, representing FBC, acknowledged that they did their best but felt disappointed by the narrow loss due to some decisions of the judges. Mangoh urged their colleagues to continue supporting them, expressing confidence in turning their fortunes around soon.
IPAM College’s triumph in the Eco Parl’s town hall debate showcases their commitment to academic excellence and effective public speaking. SEG/6/2/2024