IGNORANCE, THE BANE OF OUR SOCIETY
The Witchcraft Saga
The attention of the management of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka has been drawn to the public reactions making the rounds in the social media and other media alike as instigated by some religious activists and fanatics protesting ignorantly on the word WITCHCRAFT in a proposed seminar topic by a Centre instituted to promote academic excellence and research in the university. The Centre had proposed a theme for discussion in an Interdisciplinary and International workshop on witchcraft, to which many scholars and interest groups locally and internationally had shown keen interest to participate as they had hoped to richfully contribute to this academic discourse. Their hope appears to have been dashed as the Vice-Chancellor, has directed that the topic be modified in response to public outcry.
Recall, not too long ago, the UNN came up with the policy of ONE STUDENT, ONE LAPTOP!
The public attacked this policy from a blind spot and threatened fire and brimstone in strong opposition. What happened next is now history.
Late last year (September 2018 to be exact), another campaign based on ignorance was launched against the Faculty of Law-Enugu Campus of the University (UNEC), for an alleged teaching of our second year students, a course in Lesbianism, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender –LGBT rights and it was a campaign of calumny!
We stated then the obvious, that as part of the penal codes of the land, our Law students must graduate with broad-based information in all facets of Law.
Let it be known that the mention of the word or term SEX, does not imply that intercourse has taken place.
If a lecturer in a Social Science class for instance, uses the term celibacy, the class will go on normally. But if he goes further to use the word ASEXUALITY or SEX in its entirety, many will adjust to focus their attention. The religious fanatics whose emogis profer “I hear no evil, I speak no evil, and I see no evil,” will not hesitate to excuse themselves from the class thus, missing out of the main points of the lecture or orientation. The class would then go on to understand that asexuality is a sexual orientation just like bisexuality or heterosexuality, which explains further that asexuality is not the same thing as celibacy, or the decision to abstain from sex. This is an academic discourse and can only be taught in an academic environment like ours devoid of blasphemy.
Today, let it be known for those who care to listen, that WITCHCRAFT is in the front burner of Research Projects in many academic institutions and Centres of excellence of the world – as in South Africa, America and Europe. Professors are emerging from these fields of study. The research methodology and findings have deep roots in Africa and Nigeria is a prime source for their thesis.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Igwe, has directed that the topic for the proposed interdisciplinary International Conference by the B.I.C. Ijioma Centre UNN, scheduled to commence on November 26, be changed from its WITCHCRAFT focus.
We hail this stance.
The Vice-Chancellor’s suspension of the topic does not in any way mean that he is shifting gears. The cancellation of the topic for the seminar simply portrays him as an astute administrator with a listening ear. He holds to his dreams of making the University of Nigeria the centre of academic excellence with a tenacity of purpose.
We are not retreating, but advancing in another direction because, we are facilitators of our own creative evolution.
The religious twist to the proposed topic has been orchestrated by a group that try to desnefy academics ignorantly – playing to the gallery.
A conference on Cultism is not a gathering of cultists, as a conference on corruption is not a gathering of corrupt persons, in as much as a conference on terrorism is not a gathering of terrorists.
Lets’ not allow sentiments becloud our sense of reasoning. There is a wall of difference between PLANNING AND PREPARING in as much as we must not mistake perspective for perception.
Our academic guidance is solace for many, even in our pursuit of excellence, “TO RESTORE THE DIGNITY OF MAN”.
Okwun Omeaku – Chief (Dr.) mnipr, FCAI