Traditionalists under the aegis of the Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council, have warned subversive elements in Kwara State to stop hiding under the celebration of Isese Day to foment trouble in the State.
ARSADIC, which is an umbrella body of all indigenous African religions, said at no time did the Kwara State Police Command ban the Isese Day as reported in a section of the media.
The ARSADIC President, Aare Ifagbenusola Atanda, in a statement made available to our correspondent, on Thursday, stated that nobody has the right to ban the celebration of any traditional day anywhere in the country.
He added that the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, never said she banned the Isese Day in the state.
The traditionalist, however, advised that no one should hide under the guise of religion to cause mayhem in Kwara in order to foster selfish and religious agenda.
He further advised that people should read the Kwara State Police Command’s statement and understand what it stands for.
Atanda, who is the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye, said, “It should be understood that nobody, including the Kwara State police boss, Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, has the right to ban the celebration of any traditional day. We know for sure that no one can deny any Nigerian the right to practice or celebrate according to the tenets of his or her religion.
“In as much as we stay within our boundaries, we deserve due respect to observe our festivals just like the Moslems celebrate Hijirah and Eid-el-Fitri and the Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter.
“But our advice to those planning to bring or mobilize people to Kwara State in the name of celebrating Isese Day is that they should not do so. We agree with the Kwara State police authorities that people should not converge on the state to celebrate any day for now.
“We are peace-loving people but we deserve respect for our faith. Isese Day can be celebrated in adherents’ homes, private religious family gatherings and gardens as may be convenient and conducive in the interest of peace, harmony and tranquility in the land.
“But we should not equally fail to know that Isese Day celebrations are done independently in different states, local government areas and family homes as established by our forefathers.
“The state branches of the ARSADIC can invite the national leadership to participate in their various programmes just as our national secretariat can also make them part of our own activities in an atmosphere of peace and love. We want to state categorically that the fliers being referred to by the Kwara State Police in connection with the Isese Day do not have our blessings and do not represent the combined Orisa denominations.
“We believe that genuine Orisa adherents have a responsibility to their religion to celebrate Isese Day and the Kwara State branch members must not fail on August 20, 2023, to observe the day. But our advice is that it must be done in convenient spaces without breach of public peace.
“To our members in Kwara State, your home is your abode and you have a right to it. Your garden is your property and you have a right to it. Your faith is your own and you have the right to it.
“The Kwara State Police Command is not going to stop you from carrying out your religious obligations to your God, the Almighty. No one has such a legal right to do so.
“But please, play your part well, be law-abiding and do not allow other people to blackmail you or infiltrate your ranks and rubbish your genuine service and love for Eledumare. Isese is our own. ARSADIC forward ever”, he said
Recall that the International Center for Ifa/Orisa Religions announced the postponement of the celebration of the Isese festival in Kwara state indefinitely.