Traditional Worshippers Demand Public Holiday From Ogun Government - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Traditional Worshippers Demand Public Holiday From Ogun Government

Ifarotimi Balogun

ABEOKUTA - Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has been urged to approve a day as public holiday for traditional worshippers in the state.

Numbering in their hundreds, the worshippers said the approval of public holiday would allow them to publicize their native calendar and protect the cultural heritage of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the traditional worshippers at a press conference held on Tuesday in Abeokuta as part of activities marking this year’s Annual Prayer for Ogun State, the Olu-Isese worldwide, Oba Ifarotimi Balogun stated that Yoruba culture has helped to sustain the land from complete foreign invasion and cultural annihilation.

Oba Ifarotimi equally appealed to Governor Dapo Abiodun to exercise restrain in the implementation of the just signed Obaship law in the State saying its full implementation might have consequences on the people and the towns.

He advised the Governor not to see traditional practice as evil or an uncivilized practice.

According to the new Ogun Chieftaincy law, traditional rulers can be installed or buried according to their faith instead of the traditional rites by traditionalists in the affected communities.

According to him, the processes of installation and burial of an Oba “are customarily being handled by our custodians of culture and tradition.”

Ifarotimi said, "for this not to befall our cherished cultural values and tradition in Ogun State, we are passionately appealing on behalf of Oduduwa our father, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Enitan; Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Alake of Egbaland and my humble self, Oba Ifarotimi Adifagbola Balogun, the Olu-Isese worldwide, that our dear Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun, should kindly put a hold on the strategic and delicate part on the process of king making, burial and chieftaincy title conferment.”

“We want to appeal to our people in Ogun state and Africa in general not to see traditional worship as evil and uncivilized practice. Our culture, as a matter of fact is sacrosanct and it has helped to preserve the peoples identity and sustained the land from complete foreign invasion and cultural annihilation.

"All our efforts and commitment should be seen as a service for the wellbeing of our state and government should not be misconstrued or misinformed about what the traditionalists and tradition itself stand for in the state.

"The fact remains that any attempt to disdain or disrepute the very core values of our tradition as enshrined by the Traditional institution which has galvanized our peaceful existence till now might dealt a big blow on our core history as a people and throw our core values into completely oblivion in 21st Century.

"For this not to befall our cherished cultural values and tradition in Ogun State, we are passionately appealing on behalf of Oduduwa our father, the Ooni of Ile -ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Alake ti Ile Egba and my humble Self, Oba Ifarotimi Adifagbola Balogun , the Olu-Isese world-wide, Forisha Gbade the first that our dear Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR should kindly put on hold the strategic and delicate part of the process of king making , burial and Chieftaincy title confirmment, and that the Governor should please approve and declare a day holiday for Traditional Worshippers in the state just as it was done in other southwestern States so as to publicise our native days and calendar year for posterity sake.

"Let me kindly inform you that we hold the largest population all over the world and settled at a very Strategic Political path of every State, we desire that you give us a day holiday in a whole year by your adminstration. This gesture will go along way at establishing your good will for the wellbeing and prosperity of the people of Ogun State. And this will not be forgotten by the generation yet unborn than making new laws and procesures of processing the burials of Traditional Rulers: new law on King making and Chieftaincy title that are customarily being handled by our custodians of culture and traditions.

"Your Excellency Sir, we understand that we are in a modern age and you are trying to modernize our culture in line with the civilized society among other things that you could lay your hands on while in office but Sir, we humbly wish to remind you that not all that pertain to tradition and culture can be changed without its implications, particularly the underlining factor that it might result to stripping off our traditional Rulers’ values and reduce their Traditional power, values, respect and honour among others as embedded in the traditional protocols which can brew attendant consequences upon a town.

"All the members of the Isese kingdom of Truth Cultural heritage: Traditional believers and Worshippers Worldwide, appreciate our Governor’s giant strides and steps at improving our traditional heritage, especially with the creation of the State Alternate Medicine Board, under the Chairmanship of Balogun Nurudeen Olaleye, the first Alawo-Erin of Egbaland, a man with leadership acumen to handle and sanitize the sub-sector towards successfully achieving the purpose of establishing the Board.

"Our Royal fathers need to do more to protect our heritage which is now going into extinction while the western world is making good money from our very dynamic tradition to develop their country.

"This is the right time for all us to go back to the basis of our roots and find out what we all have at home. Findings showed that there is no Family without one or two deities that they believe and worship only that today we all claim to be civilized and see their worship as barbaric.

"One of the painful challenges today that our children, due to lack of knowledge and proper awareness have mixed up rituals with religious activities, but there is a clear distinction between the two which require adequate information so as not to continue to confuse generation yet unborn.

"African religious belief is not a matter of adherence to a doctrine but concerned with supporting fecundity and sustaining the African community with religions emphasis at maintaining a harmonious relationship with the divine powers and their rituals attempt to harness cosmic powers and channel them for good.

"Ritual is the means by which a person negotiates relationships with other members of the community, with the ancestors, with the spiritual forces of nature, and with the gods.

"The cults of the divinities are visible in many shrines and altars consecrated in their honour. Shrines and altars are generally not imposing or even permanent structures and can be as insubstantial as a small marker in a private courtyard."

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