HUMANISTS WITHOUT BORDERS’ PARTICIPATION AT THE NIGERIA HUMANIST MOVEMENT 2007 ANNUAL CONVENTION, PORT-HARCOURT.
At the treasure base of Africa’s most populous nation, Port-Harcourt- Nigeria, on the 24th and 25th of August 2007, the HUMANISTS WITHOUT BORDERS(HWB) was present at the two-day 2007 annual convention of the Nigeria Humanist Movement which took place at the Students’ Viewing Centre of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. The themes were: DISCOVERING THE POWER OF HUMANISM and WITCHCRAFT AND SUPERSTITION IN NIGERIA. Representatives from the RIVERS STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, RIVERS STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT, OLABISI ONABANJO UNIVERSITY, OGUN STATE, UNIVERSAL COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, OSUN STATE, BENUE STATE UNIVERSITY, MAKURDI, UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE, and UNIVERSITY OF BENIN, EDO STATE were in attendance.
ADEWALE AKINTAYO OLUGBENGA, the founder and President of HUMANISTS WITHOUT BORDERS read the welcome massages sent in by Humanists and Freethinkers from AUSTRALIA, BRITAIN, ICELAND, IRELAND, NORWAY, TANZANIA and USA. The purpose of the meeting was read to the participants by the Executive Secretary of NHM, LEO IGWE while the host speaker, PATRICK NAAGBANTON welcomed everyone to PORT HARCOURT where he likened to DAFUR because of the warlike situation in the oil rich city.
The Convention, though had in attendance over 80 participants including the traditional head of the Umuchieze people who was a clergyman who left his Catholic faith in favour of Humanism, was tough, because most participants had to cope with the difficulty of getting to the venue because of stern-looking Soldiers deployed at strategic places in town to watch inflow and outflow of people due to the “militants reign” on the city. Even members of NHM and HWB had to raise hands up at various soldiers guard points before we could get to the venue of the event.
Dr.Enyeribe Onuoha, the Chairman,NHM and the traditional ruler of the Umuchieze people presented a paper on DISCOVERING THE POWER OF HUMANISM-An alternative worldview .Leo Igwe’s paper on THE POWER OF HUMANISM kept the attendants with eyes and ears opened as he caught people’s attention with his unique style of effective presentation. Others speakers like John Edor of the Dept. of Phylosophy, University of Calabar who talked on SUPERSTITION- An Impediment to Development, Dr. Gbenda of the Religion and Philosophy Dept., Benue State University who delivered a paper on WITCHCRAFT IN TIV LAND and Jimkelly Abegbe, a student of Statistics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State who also discussed WITHCRAFT AMONG CERTAIN PEOPLE IN EDO STATE were okay as their Presentations sparked up of questions from among the participants who began to see things from another perspective unlike before when they were yet to come across the Humanist Philosophy about the existence of the supernatural, witches and wizards…
Patrick Naagbanton also delivered the WORLD HUMANIST DAY LECTURE at the convention.
During the youth and students talk session, ADEWALE AKINTAYO OLUGBENGA of the HWB addressed the participants on HUMANISM ON NIGERIAN CAMPUSES and how students can come together to start a Humanist and Freethought group on Campus citing examples of HWB and how it started.
At the end of the two-day event, participants from the host community gladly received materials on Humanism and Freethinking which they promise to put to good use by distributing them among students on their campuses and help start up groups there.
The NHM 2007 ANNUAL CONVENTION AT PORT HARCOURT was a fun-filled and educative event for HWB as it afforded HWB the opportunity of witnessing and taking part in a convention on Humanism, Skeptism and Reason. Members of HWB were happy happy to be at the 2007 NHM convention because the event came up at the right time when they needed training and education on Humanism…
To this end, HUMANISTS WITHOUT BORDERS wish to thank the INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST AND ETHICAL UNION, NIGERIA HUMANIST MOVEMENT and other Humanists and Freethought organizations who made the convention possible. At HWB, we are looking forward to receiving NHM and other organizations both in Nigeria and outside, promoting Humanism to OSUN STATE, most especially ILE-IFE, the cradle of the Yoruba nation where it is believed that there is no single day when the IFES do not sacrifice to one god or the other. HWB believe that such educational programmes, when taken round all higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, the country will be on its way to freedom from falsehood, deceit unreason, and religious fundamentalism which are its already known trademarks and which have eaten deep into the pores of the socio-economic development of Africa’s “largest” nation.
ADEWALE AKINTAYO OLUGBENGA
HUMANISTS WITHOUT BORDERS