By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that his administration will not renege on his promise to ensure a level playing ground for various religious beliefs in the state.
Governor Aregbesola stated this at the grand finale of 2014 Isese Festival with the theme “Exploring Religious Tourism for Economic Empowerment in Osun State.”
Represented by the state Commissioner for Culture, Tourism and Home Affairs, Mr Bashiru Ajibola, the Governor appreciated the support of the traditional religion worshippers urging them to maintain peace in the forthcoming Osun Osogbo festival.
According to the Governor, the fair treatment given to all religions in the state has enhanced harmony, peace and development maintaining that he would continue to provide religion equality as promised when he came on board in November 2010.
Delivering a lecture entitled “Are the Traditional Rulers still second in command to the gods? ” a lecturer from the department of Linguistics and African Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mrs Adeola Faleye identified western civilization as the cause of disrespect to the traditional institution.
Mrs Faleye warned people against luring traditional rulers into using their powers in a way that could undermine their integrity.
While urging the traditional rulers to go back to the basics so as to be accorded the deserved respect, Mrs Faleye appealed to government to set out dignified roles for monarchs as custodians of culture and tradition.
Earlier in a welcome address, the president, Traditional Religion Worshippers Association in Osun State, Chief Idowu Awopetu enjoined the state government to see to the inauguration of a board of traditional religion worshippers it approved since last year.
Chief Awopetu also urged the state government to intensify effort in the administration’s plan to include the teaching of Ifa as a subject in the state public secondary and primary schools.
The programme which witnessed the presence of traditional religious worshippers from across the country featured cultural display and special prayer for the state government.
The state government had declared Wednesday, 20th August, 2014 as public holiday to enable the people of the state enjoy celebration of the festival.