UNN Conference On Witchcraft Will Hold Despite Protests, Other - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Saturday, November 23, 2019

UNN Conference On Witchcraft Will Hold Despite Protests, Other

The maiden conference on Witchcraft being organised at the University of Nigeria(UNN), Nsukka, Enugu State, will still hold despite the cancellation of the venue and protests by a section of the christian community in  Southeast of Nigeria.

The interdisciplinary conference on Witchcraft is expected to cast light on the age long practice that is said to entail using magical power and sorcery to achieve set goals.

The opening ceremony of the conference themed: "Witchcraft: Meaning, Factors and Practices," will commence on Tuesday, November 26 while the academic session comes up the following day.

The Daily Crucible gathered that the UNN Vice - Chancellor, Prof. Charles Igwe, will be the Chief host during the two - day event.

Also, former Vice - Chancellor, Benue State University and Veritas Universities, Prof. David Ker, is the keynote speaker at the conference  while the duo of Prof. P.J. Ezeh and Prof. Damian Opata will be the lead paper presenters.

The Director of the Centre, Prof. Egodi Uchendu, is the host with the Agidigbo of Aboh, Delta State, Prof. B.I.C. Ijomah serving as Special guest of honour.

But shortly after the Invites for the conference were sent out to the public, some christians within and outside the university community rose against the convening of the conference, saying it is not of God.

The protesting Christians claimed UNN; a federal government academic institution, is for Christ and not for the gathering of witches.

However, the organisers maintained that they are proceeding as planned and will announce a new venue soon while also not allowing the Christians to rob them of the their inalienable right to free speech and expression.

The Director of the B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research, Professor Egodi Uchendu, said the protest and campaign by the Christian Association of Nigeria and Christian students in the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka will not deter them from holding the academic conference.

“Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. CAN and others are free to express their opinions just like we have the freedom to have an academic conference on witchcraft,” Mrs Uchendu, a professor of history said.

“I’m delighted that the conference is generating the debate it should across the nation. Nigerians should look critically into the subject of the conference and identify how it’s impeding our national existence and personal experience,” she added

She absolved the UNN of blame for the cancellation of the booking for Energy Centre, as venue for the conference.

She said the centre is owned by the Federal Government and is domiciled in the UNN.

The conference on witchcraft has generated controversy since it was announced that it would take place in UNN Nsukka.

Students, believing that witches and wizards would descend on UNN, during the conference, printed posters decrying the plan.

They were joined by the Christian Association of Nigeria, which escalated the opposition and urged Christians in the South East zone to embark on prayers to dissuade the organisers from holding the conference.

“This convention is not of God and must not hold in Jesus name. Exodus 22:18 says, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’.

Chairman of CAN in the South-East zone, Bishop Dr Goddy Okafor demanded that the programme be called off immediately.

Okafor said: “I call on all Heads of Blocks, State Chairmen and other Stakeholders of Christian Association of Nigeria South-East Zone to take up aggressive prayers against the planned convention of Witches and Wizards slated to hold on November 26 at UNN.

“This convention is not of God and must not hold in Jesus name. Exodus 22:18 says, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’.

“I hereby direct, all Christian Churches in South East of Nigeria to take up lamentation and pray against this evil movement in all our churches this coming Sunday.

“I also call upon all Christian Campus Fellowship Groups and other Christian Students’ Associations to join in this effort and stand up for JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD against this evil development in South East Of NIGERIA.”

- Mariam Yomi South South Bureau, Asaba, with Gistmania report

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