“Says, Nigeria Secularity Sacrosanct, Should be respected”
By Kehinde Aderemi
Prominent Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) has warned those behind the prolonged crisis in Ilorin, Kwara state capital not to set Yoruba land ablaze, urging them to shun any act that could lead to religious crisis in the state.
The Public Relationship Officer of the Yoruba cultural promotion organization,Olajide Odumosu stated this in a statement on Friday, while reacting to the raging crisis in Ilorin,Kwara state.
The Olokun Festival Foundation PRO described the decision of the Magistrate Court under Magistrate Adams Mohammed to remand Yeye Osun,Madam Efunsetan Abebi Aniwura Olorisha and Obalowu Jimoh in custody at the Oke-Kura Custodial Centre for 30 days, pending the hearing of the case against them as a travesty of justice and an open abuse of their rights as Nigerian citizens.
While seeking the release of Yeye Osun Abebi Aniwura and Obalowu, he added that Nigeria is a secular state and that every citizen has a right to practise his or her religion without any interference
“Religion is a sensitive issue and we must respect the secularity of the Nigerian state.It is sacrosanct.
“I am appealing to all those that are involved in the lingering crisis in Ilorin to seek peace and religious tolerance as a way of addressing the crisis that had been engulfing the state in recent time.
Justice must prevail and those arraigned must be given fair hearing without any prejudice.
“This is not the time to fan the embers of religious crisis.Nigerians and the whole world is watching and the religious leaders should desist from act that could lead to crisis”,he asserted.
OFF chieftain, however, called on the Emir of Ilorin,Ibrahim Kolapo to use his position to seek religious peace by calling on those that are bent on using religion to cause disharmony in the town to desist from such act that can set Ilorin on fire.
“Let us seek religious tolerance, both the Muslims and traditional religion believers should go about their religious activities in a civil way so as to ensure peace in Yoruba land.
“The police as well as other law enforcement agents should not be seen as being bias in their efforts to ensure peace, because with the trending video on the social media, it showed that the Kwara state Commissioner of Police,Ebunoluwa Adelesi,was alleged to be biased in handling the case between the Muslims and traditional believers.
“With the trending video on the social media,the peace accord was one-sided and it is not too good, especially, in a sensitive case of religion.The law enforcement agent should rid themselves of unnecessary pressure that could lead to crisis because religion issues are very sensitive.
“Kwara state is renowned for peace and harmony,therefore, the state should be treated as such. Nobody should bring into the state the bad insignia of religious fanaticism as it is in other parts of the country”.
Recall,that the religious acrimony started in Ilorin when a traditional worshipper of Obatala, Yeye Ajesikemi Olokun Omolara Olatunji, was prevented from hosting a planned festival for adherents of Isese by the Muslims.
Though, the state Commissioner of Police waded in as part of efforts to ensure peace between the Muslims and traditionalists, the lingering crisis is yet to abate.