Traditional religion adherents under the umbrella of Traditional Religion Worshippers’ Association of Oyo State (TRWASSO) have enjoined the governor-elect in the state, Engineer Seyi Makinde to refrain from religious bigotry and see them as bonafide citizens in the state.
They gave this advice when they paid a congratulatory visit to Makinde at his Ikolaba Ibadan residence at the weekend.
The traditionalists, in a congratulatory letter handed over to Makinde during the visit and signed by Surveyor Dasola Adefabi (President), Chief Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode (Secretary), Baale Omikunmi Egbelade, Aare Isese Yoruba Foundation (Patron) and Oluwo Fasoji Fasola (President, Oyinbo Ifa Foundation), a copy of which was made available to DAILY POST on Sunday in Ibadan, the state capital, urged Makinde to give recognition to them in all public programmes organised by his government.
The group, while warning Makinde against any act of discrimination against traditionalists in the state when he assumes office in May, lamented that it was unfortunate that Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the state refused to give executive consent to the motion for holidays meant for traditional religion in the state, though the bill had been passed in February 2017 by the state House of Assembly.
The traditionalists, while imploring Makinde to remember that Olodumare (God) put him in the position as a test, urged him to always welcome them whenever they present their plights before him.
They told Makinde in the letter that, “we will not suffer any act of discrimination under your leadership as we have suffered under the outgoing government. On behalf of the practitioners of traditional religion in Oyo state, we implore you to refrain from religious bigotry. We want you to see us as bonafide citizens of Oyo State. You should always welcome us as we will always present our plights before your Excellency one after the other.
“Among our requests which we have always presented to the state government before are:
“The traditional religion should be given public holidays as follows: Isese festival which is August 20th annually. Ela festival which is May 15th annually. Oke Itase pilgrimage which is the Friday that precedes the first Saturday of every June.
“Sir it will amaze you to hear that in February 2017, the Oyo state House of Assembly moved motion for holidays for traditional religion in the state and passed it, but the government under the leadership of Senator Abiola Ajimobi refused to give executive consent to it till present. This is our plight under the outgoing government. Funny enough, the Osun State government did it five years ago despite the fact that we started agitating for it ever before our people in Osun state.
“We need traditional religion pilgrimage. Traditional religion studies should be introduced as a subject in all levels of education in the state so that our children will no more be tactically indoctrinated or frustrated and forced to renounce their belief and convert to either Islam or Christianity.
“There should be due recognition for us in all public programs organised by the government as government recognise Muslims and Christians.
“We want to have slots for commissioners, board chairmen and other political appointments in the state. The post of Governor, Deputy and SSG should not be only for Muslims and Christians, we deserve to present SSG if the Governor is a Christian and the Deputy is a Muslim.
“Your Excellency sir, we pray that Olodumare (God) will guide you throughout your tenure. We pray that Oyo state will progress in all ramifications. We pray for peace in the state.”