As traditionalists across the southwestern states of Nigeria celebrate “Isese” day, royal fathers and traditional worshippers have called on state governments in the region to declare August 20 of every year a Public Holiday to mark the traditional religion and festival.
In Ikorodu, Lagos, His Royal Majesty, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi kicked off the festival on Friday, August 20, in his palace with members of Association of African Religion joining him in the celebration.
Speaking during the event, Oba Shotobi thanked the former Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for making Osun the only state in the Southwest that has declared August 20, as Isese day.
The Ayangburen of Ikorodu also urged other state governors in the region, particularly Lagos State Governor, Babajide SanwoOlu, to follow suit.
He noted that the lack of respect and interest in Isese is one of the reasons, if not major reason the Yoruba language and identity are being eroded.
He explained that when common sense was prevailing, governance was first with the royal fathers and traditional rulers before the military government forcefully took over and sidelined them from the scheme of things.
He added that the Yorubas will be doing a lot of good to themselves and their generations yet unborn if they take Isese day seriously.
Also, in another celebration of Isese Day, in Ikorodu, His Royal Majesty, Oba AbdulSemiu Orimadegun Kasali, Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom, said this year’s Isese festival will not go without drawing the people’s attention to its significance, which is to acknowledge and honour the Yoruba Orisa, as (deities) and ancestors.
He disclosed this in front of his palace, which was full to capacity on Friday, August 20, when the traditional worshippers of various Orisa (deities) converged to mark the 2021 Isese Day.
While praying for the people of Igbogbo community, Oba Kasali noted that he was “holding this year’s edition in a grand style in collaboration with the Adeboruwa-in -Council, the traditional religion worshipers, who regarded the festival, as the big festival “Odun Nla”.
“They were happy to demonstrate our religious faith. The major highlight of this year’s festival was the invocation of all the divinities “Apebo” and prayer “Iwure” for the people of Igbogbo kingdom, Ikorodu division, and the Lagos State Government.”
Earlier in his remarks, Oba Kasali, restated his commitment to equal opportunities for all areas as well as regions in the kingdom.
He advised the State Government to make policies ensuring respect for the practice of traditional religion and to promote advocacy and dialogue on the development of traditional religion as well as inter faith synergy. He also pleaded with the state to declare August 20, as public holiday in Lagos State.
Also, the Odofin of Igbogbo Kingdom, High Chief Tajudeen Alade Onasanya, in his address, summarised the essence of the festival. He said, “today, history is once again made in our dear community, as we mark the 2021 Isese day.”
Odofin urged all traditionalists in Igbogbo to be more devoted in the practice of the religion, asking them to at all times, seek Adeboruwa’s consent before embarking on any celebration in Igbogbo.
Some of the traditionalists who graced the festival are the Osugbos, Awo-Opa, Eleluku, Ogboni fraternity, Aborijin, Onigunnuko, Alagemo, Onisegun, Agbebi, and Babalawos, amongst others.