The director of the Energy Centre wrote to the witchcraft conference organizers informing them of the University’s decision to withdraw its approval, following criticism and opposition by UNN Christian students and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
In the wake of the announcement of the conference, Christians students on the campus vehemently opposed and decried the event, pasting posters at different locations on the campus condemning the conference.The posters bear the messages:
“Say no to the meeting of witches and wizards!!! We are (a) Christian community. Don’t pollute our environment please!”
“University of Nigeria belongs to Jesus. So witches and wizards, No way!! No Vacancy!!!”
“We plead the blood of Jesus over the University of Nigeria. Hence we reject all forms of witchcraft overtly or covertly in Jesus’ Name, Amen”.
The chairman of CAN in the South-East zone, Bishop Dr. Goddy Okafor, also demanded that the programme be called off immediately. He also called on members to pray against the conference from holding.
“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 NIGERIA.”
Reacting to the withdrawal of approval for the venue, Professor Egodi Uchendu, one of the organisers of the conference, said the protest and campaign by CAN and UNN Christian students will not deter them from holding the academic conference.
“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”, Mrs Uchendu, a professor of history said.
“I’m 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”, she added.
Professor Egodi Uchendu, a Director of the B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research, absolved the UNN from the cancellation of the conference, billed to begin 26 November.
She said Energy Centre is owned by the Federal Government and is domiciled in the UNN.
“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”, she said.
The conference on witchcraft has generated controversy since it was announced that it would take place in UNN Nsukka
The man of God condemned the witchcraft conference saying as long as God is still alive, and he is also alive, the conference can never take place.