Witches and Wizards’ Conference: Awaiting the Nsukka Declaration


Eddy Odivwri

Hey, I do not know if I missed out on the outcome of the conference. I have been wanting to know the resolutions and declarations from it.

What conference are you talking about?

What other conference but the International conference of Witches and Wizards which recently held at the University of Nigeria Nsukka?

OMG! What are you expecting to hear?

What a question! I am expecting to hear what  the participants at the conference resolved to do. I want to read their communiqué and generally study what should aptly be tagged the Nsukka Declaration

You will wait forever. So you are among those who think it was a gathering of witches and wizards, right?

What else? A people sat down and planned to organise an international conference with the topic–  Witch Craft: Meaning, Factors and Practice, and you are still asking whether it is a gathering of witches and wizards?

Who else will be in such a conference? Who, but witches and wizards would have the competence and knowledge to speak on such a weird and mystical topic ,but practitioners of the craft itself?

You miss the point sir. It is a mere academic exercise. Did you not hear the Director of the B.I.C Ijeomah Centre for Policy Study and Research, Professor Ejodi Uchendu, declare that “we are not witches and wizards, we are professors and scholars”?

The centre was just interested in understudying the phenomenon of witchcraft.

Please spare me all those warped after-thought explanations. An established Policy Centre, wakes up one morning and of all issues to research into and design a policy that would help public governance, decides to research into the practice of witchcraft, and you stand here telling me it is mere academic exercise. What bunkum! Why did they not leave it for the African Traditional Religion (ATR) studies to deal with that? Ok, Let me ask you:  what policy would be derived from such a conference? Is it so that the government will start accommodating the practice and personages of witchcraft in public governance?

Again, you are very wrong. Why do we think we cannot benefit from a conference on withcraft? Have we not always said there is some witchcraft behind the technological accuracy of the whiteman? Who says we cannot transform the believed black powers of witchcraft in Africa to technological breakthrough?

Look, that is a mere wishful thinking. Witchcraft is evil and satanic. No good can come from it.  It is meant to destroy and annihilate, never to build up and uphold anything beneficial to mankind. Do you think it is for nothing that mankind fears and rejects it?

Hmmmm, you talk as if witchcraft is not practised by the same mankind. Do you know that the opening hymn at the witches and wizards’ conference was rendered by UNN’s Christ Church choir? Do you also know that the opening prayers at the conference was led by a Catholic Priest? Do you know how many so-called men of God are witches and wizards? Do you know how many of these “fiery pastors” derive powers for miracles from witches and wizards and their Babalawo agents?  My brother, calm down. Even a bad clock is twice right in a day. Nothing is that fixated.

No matter how you put it, witchcraft is something reprehensible and unacceptable to the right thinking person. It is shrouded in secrecy. People are most reluctant to be identified with it. And that is why we are all shocked that for once, witches and wizards have publicly announced to hold a conference in the open and in the day time. Chai, truly, the world is coming to an end.

In the 80’s one Juju priest, called Ebohon had openly announced that the world’s body of witches and wizards was going to be hosted in Benin-city. The announcement drew flaks from late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and co.,  and it became quite controversial until Ebohon clarified that the meeting will not be visible to normal people. Till today, Benin is still suffering the pangs of hosting that conference. And now B.I.C Ijeomah Centre for Policy has openly held conference on witchcraft.

If it was something laudable, why was the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and even the authorities of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka opposed to it? Do you know they had to edit witchcraft out of the theme of the conference before it was allowed to take place?

Do you also know that the conference was shifted from a smaller venue to a much bigger venue: the Princess Alexandra Auditorium? And what does that tell you?

Look, it is not the beard that makes the philosopher. Many things are not what they appear to be. Be circumspect.

In all, the progress and breakthrough Nigeria is hungry for is through good governance and responsible leadership, not through the instrumentality of witchcraft. It is obnoxious, and no PR about it can remove the mystique   it connotes. It is like the black nose of a dog. No matter how hard you wash, it can never be whitened.

No wonder you belong to the Fall-Down–and Die brigade.