•Dares CAN, FG, others
The organisers of the proposed conference on witchcraft has stressed that nobody can stop them from the controversial meeting at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), despite mounting oppositions from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Federal Government and other concerned groups.
This position was communicated on Friday by the Director of the BIC Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research, Prof. Egodi Uchendu, who said they are not deterred by the cancellation of the booked venue for the planned event on November 26, 2019.
Recall that the conference on witchcraft has generated controversy since it was announced that it would take place in UNN Nsukka with students, believing that witches and wizards would descend on the higher institution, printed posters opposing the plan.
In the same vein, CAN heightened the call for its cancellation by urging Christians in the South East zone to embark on prayers to dissuade the organisers from holding the conference.
But Prof. Uchendu while responding to media inquiries was reported to have vowed that the organisers will go ahead to announce a new venue soon.
According to her, the protest and campaign by CAN and concerned students in the UNN will not deter them from holding what she described as as academic conference.
She said: “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.
“I am 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.”
However, Uchendu who is a professor of history, absolved the UNN from the cancellation of the booking for Energy Centre, as venue for the conference, but instead put the blame squarely on Federal Government.
According to her, the centre is owned by the Federal Government and is domiciled in the UNN, while stressing that the: “UNN DID NOT deny us use of Energy Centre. Energy Centre did. Energy Centre is a Federal organ domiciled in UNN. It’s not controlled by UNN. Their decision to deny us their venue may not even be known to UNN”.
Earlier, the Chairman of CAN in the South-East zone, Bishop Goddy Okafor, had 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 NNigeria”.
Credits| ONH, PMNews