By; BAYO AKAMO , Ibadan
Traditional Religion Worshippers’ Association in Oyo State (TRWASSO) on Tuesday asked Governor Seyi Makinde to declare August 20th of every year as a public holiday for the annual Isese (traditional) festival.
The traditionalists made the call while speaking at an event to mark the 2019 Isese festival held in Ibadan.
At the event were; Chief Mrs Egbebunmi Ogunsoji, the Araba of Ibadanland, Chief Oyewusi Amoo Fakayode, TRWASSO President, Surveyor Dasola Fadiran Adefabi and the secretary, Chief Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode.
Speaking, the Akoda Awo of Ibadan land, Chief Ifalere Odegbola, who led the traditional religion worshippers to the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji declared that Oyo State ought to have recognised the day just as Osun has done.
Chief Odegbola maintained that Governor Makinde should be fair to all the religions and without wasting time declare every August 20th as a public holiday in celebration of Isese festival in the state, saying that the body presented similar request to Senator Ajimobi while office but it was not granted,
He stressed that traditionalists throughout the country celebrated the Isese Day on August 20 with their counterparts in Osun State who are enjoying a public holiday which was instituted in August 2017 during the administration of former governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
Chief Odegbola also urged the Olubadan to project their case to Governor Makinde, saying, Muslims and Christians have always enjoyed and celebrated their days at certain periods of the months but there is no day to celebrate “the first tradition and religion of our people”
“Kabiyesi, it has been done in Osun. It can be done here too. We demanded it from the previous government, but it was not granted. Please help us prevail on the governor, who is your son. We know he listens to you. If we have a public holiday, the celebration would be bigger and more impactful in Oyo than it is today.”
Chief Olukande Ajewole, who corroborated Odegbola, said that, the public must know that Isese Day is the climax of all traditional festivals as it is a day to pay special homage to God and ancestral leadership. He explained that it is the first foundation laid by Orunmila, before Islam and Christianity came into existence, adding that adherents of all other faiths will still trace their spiritual roots to Orunmila.
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji while responding, expressed his happiness over the visit by the traditionalists, stressing that he does not toil with the value and importance of Isese Day and promised to deliver their message to the state governor and do all within his power to see how the wish could be granted.