Jude Chinedu, Enugu
A few days to the first interdisciplinary conference on witchcraft organised by the B.I.C. Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on Tuesday, many Christian groups on campus and across the South East condemned it for being satanic and an outright ploy to hand the state over to the devil. Among those who called for the cancellation of the conference which later held under a new theme, ‘Dimensions of human behaviours’ was the Christian Association of Nigeria, South East. In this interview, Secretary of CAN in the 17 Southern states, Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, said the conference was a bad thing that had to be stopped. He further said that anyone claiming that witchcraft does not exist is a liar.
CAN made a pronouncement that the conference on witchcraft will not hold, how come it still held?
Actually, we thank God for what has happened. It is a step in the right direction because Enugu State is in the hands of God. In as much as this is an academic exercise, we know that so many people will emulate them and those papers that will be presented will never go like that and then it will lead people into witchcraft or wizardry. The Bible says suffer not a witch to live because in the witchcraft world, they can use their sons, they can useless their children, they can make them to be poor forever. They can even hold them bound even in marriage or everything. So, witchcraft is not something that anybody should encourage, accept or welcome in any form or manner. We thank God that the Vice Chancellor and the organisers of that programme have listening ear and had to stop the programme; even if they only changed the topic; no problem. For the fact that there was a publication that it will not hold, we are happy. And again, even if it did hold but many people know that we fought against it and that we are not in support of it. So, we are thanking God who made it to be so because many people are happy. Many are rejoicing that that witchcraft conference did not hold no matter which cover or how they describe themselves, no matter the name given to it, what we know is that it’s a very bad thing that has to be stopped in Nigeria.
Scholars at the conference said that it cannot be proved scientifically that witchcraft exists. What do you say about this?
If they say witchcraft does not exist, they are telling lies. It is a cover. The same cover we’ve been talking about the same way of pretending. It exists everywhere. Go to Akwa Ibom and ask them about witchcraft activities they will tell you. That’s why Arch Bishop Idahosa stopped them from hosting it in Benin at one time when he was alive. So, it exists. Anyone telling you that it does not exist is not telling himself the truth.
What does the outcome of the conference portend for churches which use preaching against witchcraft to grow their membership?
The outcome of the conference will lead people into much evil. We are trying to see how to bring people out of different problems. The problem of ancestral spirits, human sacrifices and all what not. So, this is going to put so many people into more trouble. Many people come to church and pretend but these things exist. Because they claimed at the conference that witchcraft doesn’t exist; many more people will continue to wallow in ignorance claiming that it had been said at an international conference in UNN. But, all we know is that witchcraft exists and the Bible is very clear on that.