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Aregbesola Declares August 20 Public Holiday For Traditional Worshippers

From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO

The Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday described Yoruba as a race that has never engaged themselves in any religion crisis notwithstanding different religions being practiced in the geo-political zone.

Thus, the Governor announced and declared every 20th August as a public holiday in celebration of world traditional religion, Isese Day in the spirit of equality among the various religious groups in the state.

Isese Day, among the traditional believers, is the celebration of the peak of festivity in Yorubaland tagged Odun Nla, hence were given the right to celebrate with members of their family.

Speaking at the 2013 Isese celebration with the theme, ‘Promoting Religious Tolerance and Cooperation for Social, Economic and Political Development of Osun state’, Governor Aregbesola said the present administration would continue to promote religious harmony in the state.

His words: “Yoruba preaches love, unity and peace, we accept all religions: Christianity, Islam and the various traditional religions. As you mark this Isese Day annually, do not allow some miscreants to cause trouble during the annual celebrations”.

Also speaking at the event that played host to prominent cultural exponents amidst varying masquerades of colourful costumes, the guest lecturer, Mrs. Adeola Faleye of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife who spoke on “Traditional Rulers at the crossroads of Tradition and Faith” charged stakeholders in the education sector to encourage the teaching and learning of western education for the traditional worshippers.

According to the senior lecturer, the need for traditional rulers to always promote indigenuous religion through preservation of culture and traditions should not be underestimated.

The varsity don who noted that yoruba culture had suffered neglect due to insensitivity of royal fathers to cultural values of traditions, attributed the trend to ignorance of some traditional rulers to the cultural heritage of their communities therefore charging stakeholders in the education sector to encourage the teaching and learning of western education for the traditional worshippers.

In his welcome address, the president, Chief Idowu Awopetu, lauded the state government for constituting board of traditional worshippers, saying the board would go a long way in promoting religious harmony in the state.

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