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Despite Protest, Pastors, Choir Attend Conference On Witchcraft

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The International Conference on Witchcraft on Tuesday kicked off at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as scheduled, despite opposition to the conference from the Christian bodies.

It was gathered that the opening prayer for the conference was conducted by a Catholic priest, while the moderator was a cleric.

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Music was also provided by the UNN Christ Chapel choir.

The conference, organised by Prof. B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research, UNN, met stiff opposition and criticisms, but organisers rebuffed the calls to cancel the conference, and instead changed the initial theme: “Witchcraft, meanings, factors and practices,” to ”Dimensions of human behaviours.”

UNN management had directed the organisers to drop the initial theme of the conference on account of outcries from various christian bodies.

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However, speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference holding at Nsukka main campus of UNN, the Director of the centre, Prof. Egodi Uchendu, regretted how ordinary academic conference was twisted to cause confusion by social media and other media platforms.

“The casualty of this confusion went beyond being asked by UNN management to change title but also the withdrawal of our keynote speaker, Prof. David Ker.

“I am delighted that social media hyper on the conference didn’t deter participants and organisers from attending the conference, which is completely academic,” she said.

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Prof. Damian Opata, in his paper titled “The wealthy are no witches: Towards an Epistemology and Ideology of Witchcraft among the Igbo of Nigeria,” explained that the way witchcraft was propagated and believed by some Nigerians had continued to kill the development of knowledge on the issue.

“Some people have killed the initiative for creative indigenous thinking because of mere belief in witchcraft.

“Pastors, prophets, seers in the foreign religions and charismatic priests of variegated persuasions very frequently use perceived attacks by witches and wizards to put fear in the minds and hearts of their various congregations.”

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Continuing, he said, “The truth is, for those who believe that witches and wizards exist, it exists for them; and those who believe it does not exist, it doesn’t exist.

“What we are doing today is completely an academic conference; it’s unfortunate that some people tried on social media to give it  different interpretations.”

Head of Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the UNN, Prof. Peter-Jazzy Eze, who spoke on what he titled, “Which witch? What Anthropology knows of the Adult Bugbear,” explained that witchcraft did not exist but only existed in the mind of the people who believed in it.

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Science and technology have overtaken the superstitious belief of witchcraft, which has no practical proof.”

Eze said it was time Africa dropped the belief in witchcraft and embraced robust knowledge in science and technology, “the application of which is very practical and verifiable.”

“If Africans can fully embrace science and technology, in the next 50 years, there will be nothing like superstitious belief in witchcraft, ” he said.

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JUST IN: OPEC Secretary-General, Barkindo, Is Dead

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The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Muhammad Barkindo, is dead.

Barkindo died late Tuesday.

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced Barkindo’s death in a tweeted posted to his verified Twitter handle, @MKKyari, in the early hours of Wednesday.

“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11pm yesterday 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly,” Kyari tweeted.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had, on Tuesday, honoured Barkindo, describing him as a worthy ambassador of the country, at the State House, Abuja.

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READ ALSO: Again, OPEC Increases Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Quota To 1.8mbpd

Reacting to Barkindo’s death, a former lawmaker in the eighth Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani, tweeted to his Twitter page, “Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, former GMD NNPC and until recently, @OPECSecretariat scribe, was honoured yesterday. He died 11pm yesternight. May Allah grant him Aljanna firdausi. Amin. That is the ephemerality and transience of life.”

Details later…

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‘Go Spiritual,’ Army Chief Tasks Troops To Complement Kinetic Efforts

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has asked troops to complement the Nigerian Army’s kinetic engagements with spiritual efforts.

He advised them to seek counselling, guidance, and divine supplications in ongoing military operations across the nation.

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The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Yahaya gave the charge during an interdenominational church service to commemorate the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2022, held at Saint Mark Military Church (Protestant), 34 Brigade Obinze Barracks in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

The army chief who was represented by Major General Victor Ezugwu, according to Nwachukwu, noted that the theme of the interdenominational service “Promoting National Unity through Religious Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence” was apt.

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He urged the Christian faithful across the nation to continually promote peace and unity in complementing the efforts of the army to surmount contemporary security challenges bedevilling the nation.

Yahaya also appealed to all to desist from the use of misinformation, deceit, and issues capable of disintegrating the nation, stressing the unity in Nigeria’s unique diversity.

READ ALSO: Troops Recover Arms, Arrest Foreign Terrorist Informant

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The interdenominational service was held in all formations and units of the army across the nation.

The church service had in attendance representatives of the President, Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), principal staff officers from Defence and Army Headquarters, corps commanders, general officers commanding, commandants of Nigerian Army training institutions, soldiers, and their families.

 

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Man Docked For Alleged Intimidation, Falsehood Against High Court Judge

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A Minna, Niger State-based land speculator, Ibrahim Tukura, has been remanded in correctional custody till July, 7 on the orders of a Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah over alleged intimidation and injurious falsehood against a High court judge, Justice Bilkisu Yusuf Gambo in the state.

Tukura had allegedly filed a case before the Niger State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, and requested that his case over a parcel of land presided by Justice Gambo of High Court No 6 be transferred from her court.

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The defendant claimed that the disputed parcel of land of which, he is claiming ownership with suit No: NSHC/MN/173/2021 was pending in High court No. 6 presided by Justice Gambo.

He alleged that the plaintiff in the disputed land, Malam Isah Nagoji, had given the said land to the presiding judge handling the case, hence his petition to the acting chief judge, demanding that the case be transferred from her court.

Justice Bilkisu Yusuf Gambo in her reaction filed a Direct Criminal Complaint against the defendant to the Chief Magistrate Court No., Hauwa Kulu Isah, requesting a police investigation into the allegations levelled against her by the defendant.

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Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah, forwarded the complaint to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligent Department (SCIID), for discreet investigation and afterwards, arraigned the defendant in court for prosecution.

READ ALSO: US Court Fixes Date For Sentencing Cyber Fraudster, Hushpuppi

The defendant was consequently, booked on a four-count charge of injurious falsehood, use of abusive or insulting language, criminal intimidation as well as inciting disturbance.

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According to the head of the prosecution unit of the SCIID, Abdullahi Mayaki ASP, the charges contravened sections 393, 399, 397 (b), and 114 of the penal code.

However, when the presiding Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah read the charges to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered to be remanded in Correctional custody.

Magistrate Isah then adjourned the case to July, 7 for further mention

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