Heads of Yoruba traditional religion in Oyo State have advised the State Governor, Seyi Makinde, that, for peace to reign in the State, he must not neglect his benefactors who worked for his emergence as Governor in 2019.
The traditional worshippers also urged leaders in various capacities not to be ungrateful to their benefactors, or bite the fingers that fed them, so that it would continue to be well with them.
They gave the advice earlier today (Tuesday December 28) during an interactive and prayer session facilitated for them by the Office of the Governor on Inter-Faith Affairs, headed by Rev’d Olufemi Ibikunle, in collaboration with the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, as well as Special Assistant on Community Relations, held at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The heads of traditional religion in the state gave the advice after their consultation with the oracle in the presence of participants at the meeting, explaining that although the oracle spoke in the language only the initiated would understand, the message was that leaders must not neglect traditional worshippers who actually facilitated, through prayers and and other forms of spiritual intervention, their ascension to power.
They also requested for a public holiday from the state government as ‘Isese Day’ for Yoruba traditional worshippers in the state.
The Araba Olu Isese of Ibadanland, Chief Ifalere Odegbemi Odegbola II, told journalists on the sidelines of the interactive session: “According to the oracle that we consulted today, the governor should not be man ingrate. The people that supported him to become governor, he should not forget them. He should prioritise the welfare of the people, especially the masses at all time.
“Also, all leaders in various capacities should not forget those who helped them to get the positions of powers and it shall continue to be well with them.”
Ifalare, however, said he was very happy with Governor Makinde for approving the meeting, saying with the singular act, the governor had shown that he would not discriminate against any religion in the state.
He also appealed to adherents of traditional religion to be united, adding that they had a lot to achieve in unity, enthusing: “We have come together and we are now one.”
Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, assured the traditional worshippers that their request for a public holiday would be communicated to Governor Makinde, adding: “We believe that if we are making moves, it is important we support our moves with prayers.”
“Earlier, we had called the Christians and the Muslims. Now, we felt that we should also call the Yoruba traditional religious worshipers and ‘Isese’ people to also use their own line to appeal through what they believe in, to the Almighty God, so that we can have peace and unity in Oyo State, and as well that Governor Seyi Makinde will succeed.”
Special Assistant on Community Relations II to the governor, Olufemi Josiah, also noted: “The government of Oyo State under the able leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, is one that is run on law. We recognise the constitution of Nigeria as the grundnorm of our system. The constitution stipulates that Nigeria is a secular state, meaning there is freedom of worship and of religion. As long as you are law abiding, whichever religion you are practising, the law recognised it, and the government will recognise such religion.”
Dr. Paula Gomes, a Portuguese and Cultural Ambassador to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, also told journalists that she had no iota of doubt that Governor Makinde would approve a public holiday for Yoruba traditional religious worshipers.
“The Yoruba traditional religion is made of several religions, including Sango, Ifa, and Osun. Everyone has its own knowledge. All of them are under the ‘Esin Ibile’ (the traditional religion). So, they should be united, be one and speak with one language,” Gomes said.