Traditional believers and worshippers have appealed to the people of Ogun State and African in general not to see traditional worship as evil and uncivilized practice.
They remarked that their culture, as a matter of fact was sacrosanct and it has helped to preserve the peoples identity and sustained the land from complete foreign invasion and cultural annihilation.
This was stated by Isese Kingdom of Truth, Cultural and Traditional Believers , Worshippers Association Worldwide, Ogun State Chapter on Tuesday during the media briefing held in Abeokuta to mark the Annual Ogun State Birthday 2022 edition tagged: ‘Ajodun Odun Iwure Fun Ipile Ogun’.
They however expressed that all their efforts and commitment should be seen as a service for the wellbeing of the state and government should not be misconstrued or misinformed about what the traditionalists and tradition itself stand for in the state.
He said: “Today is another historic day in the annals of traditional believers and worshippers in Nigeria as we set to put the records straight particularly about the African traditional religion and worshipping among our people and government at all levels.
“It’s now an open secret to all mankind living in Africa communities that foundation settings of people from this part of the world was rooted in our traditional religious activities encapsulated in our culture, custom, values and heritage which formed the ways of our life as African descents.
“Today’s gathering of all traditional believers and worshippers is to pray for the continuous peaceful co-existence of Nigeria and to celebrate another year of God’s faithfulness over our Gateway State for being the industrial destination of choice amongst others as well as the most peaceful state where cultural values and heritage are still thriving with prestige.
Sincerely our organisation has been hosting this Programme since over 10 years ago through self sponsorship efforts and collective determinations of our members to keep praying for the socio-economic prosperity of our dear state.”
He added further: “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 galvarnized 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 Ogunwusi Enitan; Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Alake of land and my humble self, Oba Ifarotimi Adifagbola Balogun, the Olu-Isese Worldwide, Forisha Gbade 1 that our dear Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun should kindly put on hold on the strategic and delicate part on the process of king making, burial and chieftaincy title confirmation.
“And that the governor should please approve and declare a day holiday for traditional worshippers in the state just as it is done in other south-western states so as to publicise our native days and calendar year for posterity sake.
“Mr. Governor, let me kindly inform you that we are not a political gathering or political party but we hold the largest population all over the world and settled at a very strategic political path in every state.
“We desire that you give us a day holiday in a whole year by your administration. This gesture will go along way at establishing your goodwill 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 procedures 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 tradition.
“Your Excellency Sir, we understand that we are in a modern age and you are trying to modernize our culture in line with the civilised society among other things that you could lay your hand on while in office, but sir we humbly which 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 and which can brew attendant consequences upon a town.
“All members of the Isese kingdom of Truth Cultural Heritage, Traditional Believers and Worshippers Worldwide, appreciate governor’s giant strides and steps at improving our traditional heritage especially 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 sanitized the sub-sector towards successfully achieving the purpose of establishing the Board.”
Furthermore, he analysed that the traditional institution is facing so many challenges today all because of lack of adequate basic knowledge about the tradition and the way government has perceived the traditional belief.
“In this regards, our royal father’s need to do more to protect our heritage that is now going into extinction while the western world are making good money from our very dynamic tradition to develop their country.
“This is the right time for 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 lack knowledge and proper awareness have mixed up ritual 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.
“Let me affirmed it here again that, African religious belief is not a matter of adherence to a doctrine but concerned with supporting 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,” he stated.