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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
[BREAKING] Edo Poll: Akpata Emerges As Gov’ship Candidate Of Labour Party
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata has emerged winner the Labour Party governorship primary conducted today Friday 23, at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin.
Akpata defeated his closest opponent, Kenneth Imansuangbon to emerge governorship candidate of the party in an election slated for September 21, 2024 in Edo State.
His supporters are currently jubilating.
More coming soon…
JUST IN: Monday Okpebholo Emerges Edo State APC Governorship Candidate
Senator Monday Okpebholo has emerged victorious once again in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship rerun in Edo State.
The senator garnered an impressive 12,433 votes, overcoming the challenges posed by 11 other aspirants in this highly anticipated political rematch.
READ ALSO: JUST IN: Sunday Igboho Returns To Nigeria
OPINION: Should Elected Nigerian Leaders Undergo Psychiatric Tests?
Guitar Boy, Sir Victor Uwaifo, is dead. But the ‘Mami Water’, which he saw at the Bar Beach and sang about in 1966 when he was just 25 years old, lives on. Today, the ‘Mami Water’ swam all the way up from the deep and boomed through a giant loudspeaker at the Ojota motorpark in Lagos, singing: “Guitar Boy/Guitar Boy/If you see mami Water o/If you see mami water o/Never, never you run away/Eh, eh/Never run away, Victor Uwaifo…” Even angels in heaven can’t resist dancing to the electrifying guitarwork of the song. 🎶Pin-pin/🎶dun-dun/🎶pin-pin/🎶dun-dun/🎶pin-pin/ 🎶dun-dun…Guitar Boy!…If you see mami water o…🎶.
A garage thug, Kilimanjaro, sings along with Uwaifo in a gruffy voice, cigarette smoke billowing down his nostrils like a fumes-belching locomotive driven by a grumpy engineman.
“That time wey Mami Water dey tell Victor Uwaifo make e no run, Nigeria never turn into jungle. Now, na Mami Water herself don dey run from Nigerians. If Mami Water and Papi Water show for Naija now, Nigerians go chop dem with dem bones and fins,” Kilimanjoro bellows, coughing big phlegm up his throat, “twah!” he spits it out. “E no go better for my enemies!”
Lepa Shandy, a busybody hawker in the park, moves from one vehicle to the other, selling a jambalaya of medicines. “If you no get wife, girlfriend or olosho, no buy dis medicine o. Make you no go tamper your landlord wife or daughter if you no wan live under bridge,” Lepa Shandy announces.
She brings out another medicine in a colourful pack. “Dis one name na Caterpillar! Make una lift una joyful faces up and behold this one-cure medicine, epa gbogbo ise. Na New Delhi in New York City dem make am. E dey cure hepatitis, glaucoma, leprosy, COVID and AIDS. Dis medicine no dey cure HIV o. Me, I go tell you di truth. Just drink am with rainwater or well water. Das all.”
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“Ehs! Ehs! Wos! Wobi!,” Kilimanjaro calls out to Lepa Shandy, “Shey you still get ‘Total Restoration’?”
“Ha, e don finish, people don rush am but I go get am next tomorrow. Na dollar cause di go-slow. How many packs you want?” “I want half dozen.” “OK, I go bring am next tomorrow.”
Lepa Shandy: “Shey, una dey see so, na my medicine those wey sabi dey ask for so o. ‘Total Restoration’ dey cure all types of worms, obesity, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, bone marrow, diarrhoea, diabetes, too much sweating, poor hearing, weak vision and fear.”
Kilimanjaro: Shey you hear say lion kill person for Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife?
Lepa Shandy: I hear di news o. Man and animal just dey vex for Nigeria. Suffering too much. No difference dey between the Ife lion and Nigerian leaders. Both no get mercy. Both wicked well well.
Kilimanjaro: Di lion for go Az-o-Roc, after e visit Az-o-Roc, make e enter legislature, judiciary and the ministries one by one. After Abuja, make e come dey enter states one by one?
Kilamanjaro: Ha! Dem go kill am!
Lepa Shandy: Kill wetin!? Na Layon I dey talk about o, no bi lion o. Layon na combination of lion and ‘anjonu’ spirit. Even bomb no fit kill Layon. You no sabi say black power dey?
Kilimanjaro: Look, me I believe in action. Make we all comot for street, block everywhere, no work, make everywhere standstill. Na di only language wey our leaders dey hear bi dat.
Lepa Shandy: You don forget wetin happen for Lekki Tollgate?
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Kilimanjaro: Dem stop Lekki riot because na only Lekki di riot take place. If to say other states of the federation join, government for negotiate nah. Government dey tighten poor masses belt, dem dey loose dem own belt. All dia pikin don turn billionaire finish. Poor man no fit chop one meal a day again. Wo, me I wan listen to the great national debate for radio, biko!
Lepa Shandy: Na wah o.
Kilimanjaro: After Buhari ride Nigerian donkey to coma, e kari half-dead donkey give im paddy, Tinubu, wey no fit complain publicly because dem bi Taiwo and Kehinde, different sides of di same coin.
Kilimanjaro: (Tuning the stereo in the road transport union office) When dem go begin di debate sef?
The secretary of the park, Acapela, tells Kilimanjaro to tune the stereo to Radio Enlightenment and Freedom 700.07 FM.
Kilimanjaro: Ha! Dem just dey start di debate. Rich man pikin school versus poor man pikin school. E go loud!
Debate Moderator: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the Great Debate! We have two schools slugging it out today. They’re Overlords Private College, Ikoyi, and Bondage Public School, Ajegunle. The topic of today’s debate is, ‘Should elected Nigerian leaders undergo psychiatric tests?’ Overlords Private College are saying NO to the topic while Bondage Public School are saying YES. The lead speaker of each school has five minutes to speak while the supporting speakers have three minutes each. I hereby welcome the lead speaker of Bondage Public School to the podium.
Bondage Lead Speaker: My name is Idris Ayomeye. I’m from Bondage Public School. I greet the distinguished chairman of this august occasion, the incorruptible panel of judges, the accurate timekeeper, my co-debaters and the esteemed audience.
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(The audience roars into applause)
Bondage Lead Speaker: I’m here to support the motion that Nigerian leaders should and must be subjected to psychiatric tests. Permit me, Mr Chairman, sir, to open my speech with these two Bible quotes: Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people”; and Romans 6:1: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin and expect grace to abound?” These Bible quotations sum up the story of Nigeria, a country, where wickedness and injustice rule. It’s a country where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission prosecutes and secures the conviction of a Nollywood actor, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, for ‘spraying’ the naira while the same EFCC looks the other way when Fuji musician, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde, and one undignifying monarch, the Olu of Owode, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo, engaged in criminal abuse of the naira. I must commend the Egba Traditional Council for suspending Sowemimo over his disgraceful act. He should be sent back to ipebi for proper tutoring. I don’t know how some characters become obas in Yoruba land.
(Deafening applause. Kilimanjaro, Acapela and many people listening to the debate in the garage jump up in jubilation)
Bondage Lead Speaker: Mr Chairman, sir, Nigeria is a country of promise-and-fail leaders. President Olusegun Obasanjo set up the Oputa panel to try the wrongs of the past, but General Badamosi Babangida, who was accused of many wrongdoings blatantly refused to show up, and nothing happened. Babangida never appeared in court despite incriminating allegations over the death of Dele Giwa. Those who killed MKO Abiola and his wife, Kudirat Abiola, are walking freely today. One of them, a Major, is even pontificating all over the country.
(Kilimanjaro grabs a chair, puts it on his head and dances, shouting, “More! More! More!)
Bondage Lead Speaker: The Presidency, police, ICPC, rights activists, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, etc see how people abuse the naira daily, yet they look away. Nigeria looks away as public hospitals have turned into morgues, public schools have become havens for hoodlums, roads have turned into deathtraps, electricity supply has turned to darkness supply! If a country can so brazenly exhibit injustice and brutality, tell me why its elected leaders shouldn’t undergo psychiatric tests. Please, tell me why.
(Shouts of ‘Tell them!’ ‘Tell them!’ Tell them! from the audience fill the hall)
Mr Chairman: (Hits his gavel on the table) Order! Order! Order! (The hall becomes less rambunctious)
Bondage Lead Speaker: (Wipes his face with a handkerchief and sips some water) General Muhammadu Buhari promised to jail the looters in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Who did he jail? Were we all not in this country when Patience Jonathan sought a plea bargain? Were we not all in this country when Buhari and his cabal brought in a fake airline as a national carrier, spending millions of dollars on the fake airline? Can someone tell me why our leaders shouldn’t be subjected to psychiatric evaluation? President Tinubu has been in the saddle for almost a year, chasing shadows, haunting the worst Central Bank Governor in the history of the country, Godwin Emefiele, but conspicuously leaving out Buhari, whose bidding Emefiele did. Can someone tell me why our…
Kilimanjaro: Ha!!! NEPA!!! Dem don cut light for studio o! Dem don become uncomfortable o. Haa! Naija and government magic…
Facebook: @Tunde Odesola
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