By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu
Tension, anxiety and concerns mount at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, as the foremost institution sets to hold a conference on witchcraft. Orient Weekend reports that all eyes are now on the university as pressures are mounting on the organisers of the programme to abort it. The event, being packaged by the B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy and Research in UNN, and slated to hold between November 26 and November 27, is being seen as on official handing over of the University to Satan. Enquiries by Orient Weekend indicates that ever since the programme was announced, several groups in the institution, including churches and students’ worship centres, have been holding prayer sessions and night vigils to truncate the event. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, is not left out as it has issued a strong warning to the university over the conference. They are doing everything to stop what they described as “the work of the agents of darkness.” At strategic locations of the university, one could see several posters against the conference. They have inscriptions like, “UNN belongs to Jesus”, “Witches and Wizard, No vacancy!” “Say no to the meeting of Witches and Wizards’, “We are a Christian community”, “Don’t pollute our environment”, “We plead the blood
of Jesus over UNN, and hence, we reject all forms of witchcraft overtly or covertly”. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in a strong-worded statement, issued by its chairman in the South-East, 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, SouthEast 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 Nigerian 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.” Similarly, the secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the 17 Southern States, Apostle Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, has warned the organisers to shelve the conference. “We, the Christian community, reject in its entirety this attempt to hand over the UNN to the devil. This kind of thing cannot happen without some spiritual implica
tions and effect, and this is why we are rejecting it. “I join in calling on all Christians to hold fervent prayers in order to avert this looming danger. This is nothing but initiation through the back door, and everything must be done to stop it. “We urge the authorities of the UNN to avert the wrath of God by calling this conference off. It will not be of any advantage to the people; but will end up in bringing calamity,” Ajujungwa cautioned. Also reacting, a foremost lawyer in Nsukka, Barr. Uche Omeje, condemned the conference in strong terms. In a post on his Facebook page titled, “ON THAT PROPOSED WITCHES AND WIZARDS CONFERENCE AT UNN”, he wrote, “The debate for and against the proposed conference on witches has been ranging. My questions before the conference are: How will the conference benefit non witches and wizards? Is the conference meant to establish that witches and wizards exist? Is the conference meant to deliver persons under the attack and bondage of witches and wizards? Is the conference designed to equip non witches and wizards on how to fight back and defend themselves from the onslaught of witches and wizards? Is the conference just born out of man’s zealous and curiosity to probe into the world of witches and wizards? “May I remind believers that overzealousness and curiosity of Eve to know how the forbidden fruit tastes landed humanity into the mess. Igbos have adage that
overzealousness and curiosity caused monkey to take bullet on its head. What will knowledge of witches do to a person that does not wish to become one? The conference is not being organised by exorcists. “Accordingly, there is no guarantee that non witches and wizards participants may not be possessed thereafter. I think conferences that will improve humanity is preferred.” Meanwhile, Chidi Ugwu, a lecturer, who is one of those planning the conference, has continued to defend the exercise. In one of his recent media interviews, he said contrary to insinuations, the event has nothing to do with actual “witches and wizards.” He said the conference is strictly an academic exercise and is being organised to interrogate what people associate with witchcraft. “If you have heard that we are calling for a meeting of witches and wizards in UNN that is not true. We want to interrogate the various things people think is witchcraft, the things people think are caused by witchcraft, the blames people give to witchcraft and the different practices in different parts of the world that are related to witchcraft. “We will also look at the implications; the social implications of some of these beliefs that people have and the social manifestations of what people think when they say this is a witch or wizard. We are not calling a conference for people to die and go to the spirit world to know whether there are witches or not,” he said.