The Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council has called on traditional religious worshippers or Orisa adherents in Kwara State to join their counterparts around the country to celebrate Isese Day on August 20.
The council, in a statement on Thursday, stressed that “genuine Orisa adherents have a responsibility to their religion to celebrate Isese Day and the Kwara State branch members must not fail on August 20, 2023 to observe the day.”
It, however, advised that given the situation in Kwara State, Orisa adherents should observe the Isese Day celebration in their homes rather than gather in public places, “without breach of public peace.”
The ARSADIC President, Aare Ifagbenusola Atanda, gave the advice in a statement on Thursday.
Atanda maintained that reports that the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, banned the Isese Day in the state could not be true.
Atanda, who is the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye, said, “It should be understood that nobody, including the Kwara State police boss, Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, has the right to ban celebration of any traditional day. We know for sure that no one can deny any Nigerian the right to practise or celebrate according to the tenets of his or her religion.
“Inasmuch as we stay within our boundaries, we deserve due respect to observe our festivals just like the Muslims celebrate Hijirah and Eid-el-Fitri and the Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter.
“But our advise to those planning to bring or mobilise people to Kwara State in the name of celebrating Isese Day is that they should not do so. We agree with the Kwara State police authorities that people should not converge on the state to celebrate any day for now.
“We are peace-loving people but we deserve respect for our faith. Isese Day can be celebrated in adherents’ homes, private religious family gatherings and gardens as may be convenient and conducive in the interest of peace, harmony and tranquility in the land.”
Atanda noted that ordinarily Isese Day celebrations are done independently in different states, local government areas and family homes “as established by our forefathers.”
“To our members in Kwara State, your home is your abode and you have a right to it. Your garden is your property and you have a right to it. Your faith is your own and you have the right to it.
“The Kwara State Police Command is not going to stop you from carrying out your religious obligations to your God, the Almighty. No one has such a legal right to do so.
“But please, play your part well, be law-abiding and do not allow other people to blackmail you or infiltrate your ranks and rubbish your genuine service and love for Eledumare. Isese is our own. ARSADIC forward ever.”