Saturday, August 13, 2022

Declare public holiday for traditional religion, say adherents

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Baale of Ojota, Chief M.S Dada (left); President-General of Awori Oje, High Chief Yaya Omoba and Chief Tajudeen Muili at the eighth anniversary of Oje Awori United Association (Lagos chapter)

Traditionalists have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to send an executive bill to the National Assembly to declare August 20 Isese Day as public holiday to celebrate the various age-long cultures and traditions across the country. In addition, they urged the three tiers of government to recognise and involve traditional healers in the day-to-day activities of governance as they do with other religions.

These pleas were handed down by the President of Awori Oje of Lagos State, High Chief Yaya Omooba and Olori Oluwo Ogboni Ibile of Lagos State at the eight edition of Egungun Festival of Oje Awori, held in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. The traditional chiefs said the holiday has became necessary in view of the fact that Isese Day, which is the first foundation laid by Orunmila, came into existence before Islam and Christianity.

Their words, “Frankly speaking, we deserve a public holiday since all these days because Muslims and Christians have always enjoyed had festivities period at their appropriate months,” he added.

They chiefs stated that the reason for this Egungun festival was to recognize and emphasise our tradition, and to pray for the dead people, as well as to pray for the survival of the nation.

They therefore, advised all Nigerians irrespective of their religions to retrace their step to our foundation, Orunmila, the way our forefathers used to do in the olden days.

“We need to always consult Ifa oracle, so that all the tragedies that have befallen the nation in recent times, will be a thing of the past,” the two traditional chief advised

The occasion was well attended by eminent personalities across the state including Baale of Ojota, M.S. Dada, Alajuwon of Ajuwonland, Oba Nurudeen Adeniran Egunsola, Chief Lasisi Apalara, Chairman, Oje Progressive Association of Nigeria, Baale Agboyin (2), Chief Taiwo Lamina Adesegun, traditional rulers, business executives, and top political office-holders among others.

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