University of Nigeria  students  protest against conference on witchcraft

Some students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State, have kicked against an upcoming conference on witchcraft. TheCable had reported that the conference being organised by the B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy and Research in UNN, will hold between November 26 and November 27.

As the date draws nearer, members of the university community, including students and staff, who are opposed to the programme, have already started staging protests against it. While some persons are organising online campaigns to register their displeasure over the conference others are circulating posters calling for its cancellation.

Aside from social media campaigns, some persons have put together special prayers to “fire back” at what they described as “the work of the agents of darkness.”

Some of the posters littering around the school have inscriptions such as: “UNN belongs to Jesus”; “Witches and Wizard, No vacancy!” “Say no to the meeting of Witches and Wizard’, “We are a Christian community”; “Don’t pollute our environment”; “We plead the blood of Jesus over UNN, hence we reject all forms of witchcraft overtly or covertly”.

In an interview with TheCable, Chidi Ugwu, a lecturer who is one of those planning the conference, 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,” he told TheCable over the phone on Monday.

“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.”

The keynote speaker at the conference is David Ker, former vice-chancellor of Benue State University, while P. J. Ezeh and Damian Opata, two professors at the university, will present the lead paper.

Pix: UNN conference on witchcraft