By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

A Non Governmental Organization, known as Global Great Debaters Nigeria, yesterday called for dialogue, inclusiveness and mutual respect as a means of resolving conflicts across the country.

The group also advocated for increase in the culture of critical thinking among every segment of society, including the youths, and teachers.

According to the group, the culture would equip Nigerian teachers with the requisite skills needed to create healthy and productive interactions with students in every citadel of learning.

This was part of the issues raised during a 5-day workshop organized by Global Great Debaters Nigeria in conjunction with Ebonyi News Network, Southern Methodist University, Adesso Development Initiative, Royal Rhetorics and Coal City University, Enugu, at Hotel Geneza, Abakaliki.

Speaking during the event, the Lead Trainer at the bootcamp, Prof. Ben Voth of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, reiterated the need for concerted effort to be made towards increasing the culture of critical thinking across the globe.

He further explained that debate, as a communicative tool, was relevant in every level of education, because it encourages critical thinking, which in his words, “is the basic foundation for productive socio-political engagement in any country that accords priority to Education.”

Also speaking, the Convener of the bootcamp, Mr. Uche Chukwu Agbo, stated that the Global Great Debaters Boot camp was designed to equip Nigerian teachers with requisite skills needed to create healthy interactional spaces in their classrooms across the country.

Agbo added that God has endowed teachers with incredible talents and professional ingenuity to produce great leaders like Nelson Mandela, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nkrumah Nyerere, who contributed to the transformation in the Society.

“We can prepare these teachers with the right tools. It will not be difficult to produce the next Nkrumah, Nyerere, Mandela, Sankara and so on in the 21st century Africa.”

Agbo added that the rapid escalation of violence and other related crimes in different parts of Nigeria was not far from the lack of attention given to dialogue and adherence to peace process.

He further explained, that if all-inclusive dialogue was encouraged in secondary schools, the next generation of Nigerian leaders will not see violence as a means towards conflict resolution and management.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Coal City University, Prof. Afam Icha-Ituma, congratulated the participants and facilitators for the courage to attend the bootcamp, not minding the current spate of insecurity bedevilling the country.

Prof. Ituma stressed that the event
couldn’t have come at a better time than now, when the country is in dire need of dialogue and conversations, that are geared towards peace, unity and national cohesion.

Other resource persons such as Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, Prof. Ike Elechi Ogba, Dr.John Otu among others charged the participants to make judicious use of the training for the growth and development of the society.

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