Traditionalists warn over alleged religious extremism in Ilorin
Traditionalists have condemned what they termed intolerance on the part of Muslims in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, frowning at how a traditionalist in the city allegedly faced persecution and threat to life from those they described as fanatics.
A press release made available to ogbomosoinsightonline.com, by Isese Welfare Association, IWA, dated July 5, and signed by Adérémi Itaôleepin Aderemi and Ifágbénusola Pópóola, coordinator and secretary-general respectively, referred to the case of an Ilorin priestess, identified as Omolara Oladipo otherwise known as Yéyé Ajésikémi Olókun, who had to cancel her traditional festival on account of threat and pressure mounted by some Muslim faithful in the town.
“Over the week, we have seen how some fanatical Muslims in Ilorin, Kwara State capital seriously threatened and intimidated an Onisése (a practitioner of Isése – Yorùbá Indigenous Religion) in the person of Yéyé Ajésikémi Olókun (Omolara Oladipo), whose Isese festival was scheduled to take place along Secondary School Road, Oke Andi, Ilorin, Kwara State between 22nd and 24th of July, 2023 which has to be cancelled, due to serious threat to her life, and supposedly for security reasons, based on the stern warning and advice of the police.”
IWA strongly objects to the attitude moreover from a religion it says preaches peace wondering what had happened to the secular nature contained in the constitution.
“We are constrained here to ask these simple and questions: is Ilorin no more a Yorùbá community or no more part of Yorubaland? Is Ilorin now solely a Muslim Community? Do people still have the rights under Nigerian Constitution to practice whatever religion they subscribe to? If truly, Islam is a religion of peace, is threatening others over their belief system an act of peace? What does peace mean to these sets of fanatical Muslims in Ilorin?
“It is not only unethical, unlawful and a gross act of misconduct against the right of freedom of worship, but a sheer act of wickedness for the fanatical Muslims of Ilorin community to dictate the mode of worship and religious practices to be observed in “Ilorin Emirate. Certainly, this act of religious intolerance by this bunch of fanatical Muslims in Ilorin calls for a review and reflection by the appropriate authorities,” the release further stated.
It emphasized the act was borne out of fanaticism warning, “Now is the time to say NO to this uncivilised acts of denying others their constitutionally guaranteed rights of observance of their Indigenous Religious obligations.”
The organization drumming support for traditional religion and particularly for the Ilorin victim asserted, “We, at Isese Welfare Association (IWA), aka işèse Assembly through this medium wishes to inform the general public that we are solidly behind Yeye Ajéşikemi and all other committed practising Onisése in Ilorin, Kwara State. And that we will not keep quiet or turn a deaf-ear to this ugly development orchestrated by these sets of extremists/fundamentalists hiding under a religion to threaten and intimidate others.”
It consequently advised, “Embrace peace! Love one, love all!! Live and let others live!!!”