.Stresses need to recognise Isese Day
The Obarisa ati Asa of Kwara state, HSH Obalowu Omotayo Jagun has lauded Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for declaring the first of muharram 1445 as public holiday in the state.
In a telephone interview with News Hub Mag!, Obarisa stated that, “with that singular action the governor has shown that he not only listens to the yearnings of the people but he is committed to fair treatment of all regardless of faith and ethnic affiliations. We therefore urge him to show this same magnanimity to the traditionalists by declaring August 20 as Isese Day in the state as done in other parts of the country.”
According to the Obarisa of Kwara traditionalists in the state have long been denied equal recognition with other religions.
“Whereas there is no denying the fact that traditional religion is the indigenous religion in this part of the world but unfortunately we have been relegated to the background in everything. Yet, we are the most peaceful among the three recognised religions,” he stated.
Speaking on the importance of celebrating Isese Day, the Obarisa of Kwara, said it is a day to celebrate tradition and re-ignite the passion for the Yoruba cultural heritage and beliefs.
In his words, “Isese Day is a day for everyone who practices the traditional way of life which is the practice and veneration of Ifa and other Orishas to celebrate and thank Olodumare for the gift of the Orishas. It is also a day of prayers and merry making.
“It is a central festival that brings all Olorisas together both home and abroad and we will be most honoured if the government can declare this festival a work free day for us too in Kwara,” he said.
Reacting to the issue of Yeye Ajesikemi Olokun Omolara who had to cancel her Isese festival after her life was allegedly threatened by a Muslim group, Majlisu Shabab li Ulamahu Society, in Ilorin, Obarisa noted that, “her action is a testimony to what I just told you that traditionalists are peaceful people. Someone who intends to celebrate in her own compound is being harassed and threatened because of her belief. It should not be but she used wisdom to calm the tension.”
He however agreed that lack of a united voice for traditionalists has greatly hampered the progress of traditionalists in the country particularly in the state.