Posts Tagged ‘YORUBAS’
YORUBA RELIGION DEFENDED AGAINST THE IGNORANCE OF THE ‘MISEDUCATED ‘EDUCATED YORUBA ELITE!- IFA IS AFRICAN SCIENCE-TRUE BLACK POWER!-FROM THE OSUN DEFENDER, NIGERIAMay 24, 2013
/ Friday, May 24, 2013
News Across Nigeria
THE STUDY OF IFA IN OSUN SCHOOLS; A PATH TO REAL DEVELOPMENT
Opon Ifa and OpeleOne feels compelled to write this piece on the recent announcement by the government of the State of Osun on the introduction of the study of Ifa religion in all its schools. While no time should be wasted in congratulating the government led by the visionary Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on this courageous and needful step, a conscious attempt must also be made to educate those who may be genuinely regarded as ignorant on the socio-legal imperative of permitting a pan Yoruba ethos play a pivotal role in the development of a society. All efforts made at raising the level of development must be anchored on this all-embracing substratum. As for the mischievous and the proselytising hypocrites, commercial religionists with vast business empires which thrive on the very objects of deceptive public excoriation, we must hasten to allay their fears that this novel but necessary introduction will not affect the enterprise of “miraculous healing” and the promise of prosperity in a land already devastated by political locusts.
A multi cultural milieu, such as Nigeria, must recognise and accept the reality of ethno-religious pluralism and the attendant divergence to promote equity, fairness and justice among the ethnic nationalities and groups, the necessary conditions for amity, peaceful co-existence and realistic aspirations towards growth. This is the irreducible minimum below which no group should be subjected. The omniscient posture adopted by the adherents of the so called prominent religions, Christianity and Islam, exposes abysmal ignorance on the essence of other indigenous religions and explains why intolerance adorns an official garb in various shades. This combative attitude is also symptomatic of a post-colonial society still reeling from the debilitating effects of foreign subjugation in all ramifications.
The dubious and ostentatious display of piety by these self-appointed men of God, on one hand, and their obscene materialistic disposition, is more than sufficient to cause a serious study into the misfortune of a society in decline. We leave this interesting topic for another time. For now it suffices to assert that this present move by the government is the most significant since independence. If development is about the people, then it should be taken as given that understanding the ways of life of all who live in the society is a sine qua non to planning. The challenges faced by various categories of people compel introspection and determination which will ultimately lead to progress. Professional politicians, deprived of patronage for two years now in the State of Osun, considered the source of the people of the south western part of the country, will also stop at nothing to confuse the people who have been dispossessed over the years.
If our children are made to study foreign religions and some even get higher degrees, including PhDs, knowing other peoples’ cultures, then it is rather salutary that a government is considering making the study of Ifa religion an option in the school curriculum in the State of Osun, albeit belatedly. Nigeria is a place where elites take pride on being proficient speaking and writing other people’s languages. We crave advancement depending solely on the cultural ethos of other lands. Our claims to decency are often predicated on the fact of our adherence to the precepts of either of these foreign religions. We are nurtured to imbibe the customs and traditions of those who treated our ancestors with utter contempt. We grew to hate what is truly ours. We receive awards aping the ways of life of other lands. What belongs to us is despised and treated with unimaginable derision. Our cultures are subjected to foreign prisms in determining their acceptability.
It is expected that deluded beings, who either believe genuinely in the myth of superiority of these imposed sub-sets, products of the perceptions of other peoples on natural phenomena observable within their societies, will join issues with this truly progressive leader of the people. What we must, however, eschew is silence which suggests connivance at the unwarranted attacks on the dynamic governor who has turned the fortunes of the state around positively with the little resources at his disposal. Nuhu Ribadu, a man not known to suffer fools gladly, just attested to the sterling qualities of this exceptional character. Several other people have been commenting on this ascetic being whose energy belies his physical stature.
Religion was central to the development of ancient Egyptian civilization. The challenges faced by the Egyptians compelled them to look for solutions in the spiritual realm. Disasters, prominent among which was the constant inundation of the Nile were considered as sanctions from the celestial beings. These ancient people used their belief in life after life and the existence of a supernatural being, Ra, whose decisions were unquestionable, to interact with their natural environment. The modern world is the direct beneficiary of the legacies of their fecund minds. Their children were nurtured on the nuggets of beliefs which propelled keen observation of natural phenomena. This attitude gave provenance to the unparalleled scientific discoveries for which the Egyptians are still widely acknowledged.
The originality of the thought process ensured that all nations in the ancient world looked up to it. Greece became the greatest beneficiary of this unique ancient civilization and, by necessary implication, the western world in the modern sense of the expression. What the average hypocritical and ignorant Nigerian will regard as superstitious and sinful formed the basis upon which his faith predicated on this imported religion is established. The judicial system of the ancient Egyptians was an aggregate of their socio-cultural values. These were contained in the curricula of the schools at various levels of learning.
The Chinese also developed their civilization independent of other existing ones relying heavily on their cultural values. China today is an exemplar in advancement because it has never allowed any undue influence on her socio-political system built on oriental values. This country stands out today as a bulwark of inspiration when most western nations are grappling with issues of survival occasioned by debilitating economic circumstances. A Chinese child will never look up to the west for socio-economic redemption. The child believes that his/her language is the best and only learns other foreign languages to derive advantage in a competitive world. He/She does not in any way feel inferior to the western child. The state has no official religion yet the Chinese child is not precluded from studying any subject of interest.
American students now come to Nigeria to study specific aspects of our much despised culture. They speak impeccable Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo, among other Nigerian languages. That is not a challenge to them at all. They are keen researchers on the mysteries of our ancestral past. They come to study Egungun cult, the talking drum and its significance in information dissemination, cultural values as encapsulated in the Odu Ifa corpus, among others. They become initiates of the Ifa religion which ignorant and ill-educated Africans denigrate. The tragedy of the whole scenario is that they are now in a position to educate us on our past. While we struggle to ape the Europeans, Americans and Arabs, we have become alienated from our origin. Nothing from us is good except it is subjected to western approval. So deracinated and uprooted from our origin have they become that fanatical members of some families openly destroy artifacts and other valuable vestiges of the glorious epoch when crass mercantilism had no impact on the psyche of the people.
Traditional rulers are the most pitiable characters of these tragic-comic elements. Some of them employed all manner of under hand methods to subvert the process of selection to become deluded kings in a republic. Once they ascend the so called throne of their fore-fathers they soon discover that their past was sinful. In their hypocritical exhibition of vacuous devotion, they destroy shrines and shun religious rites which justify their anachronistic existence in the first place. They invite commercial pastors to come and preach to their so called subjects to do away with the traditional ways. These religious businessmen in turn flaunt these clowns as trophies won in the battle to civilise the natives. They denigrate the very essence of their sustenance as custodians of the people’s customs and tradition.
They cherish the flowing three-piece traditional attire and the complementary pony tail, veritable emblems of indulgence and vanity. And just as their forbears collaborated with slave traders, commercial precursors of the proselytising hypocrites to raid villages and hamlets for slaves, they too are willing participants in the pillaging of the resources of the state at the local government level. Very few of them deserve attention in the midst of decent people.
Granted that the retrogressive position held on indigenous religions is correct, does it not make sense that our children are trained to know why their ancestral past must be condemned? We have fed generations of Nigerians, nay Africans, on foreign diets before independence through post colonial period to the present time. The ultimate ambition of an average child is to be white in everything. Is it not ironic that at a time when the western world looks towards African for cultural renaissance our people strive unabashedly to cast aside everything which reminds them of their beginnings?
Adherents of African traditional religions have been discriminated against over the years. The Nigerian experience has been heart-corroding. Supposedly educated religionists jettison family names which remind them of “pagan” practices. They adopt scriptural names of other cultures alien to the continent without understanding their significance. Thus we see funny names such as “Olugbemi” in place of “Fagbemi”. Jesus, which is a very common name among the Jews, is affixed to praise names to depict piety. What ignorance!
The new policy on education in the State of Osun will afford our children the opportunity to know that the difference you find in all religions of the world is in the practice. Doctrinal issues have now subsumed the didactic and edifying aspects of religion. In Nigeria economic consideration far out-weighs the sincere quest for spiritual regeneration. The Osun example has exposed the lie peddled by people who exploit religion for selfish purposes. Our children must be allowed to know something about what they are called upon to hate. They should be able to decide if there is any remarkable difference between the promoted religions and the message in the Ifa corpus. Students whose parents are adherents of Ifa religion must also be allowed to study their faith in an ambience devoid of discrimination and intolerance. Virtues such as continence, loyalty, honesty, piety, civic responsibility, devotion to parents and elders, humility, among others, are embedded in Ifa. Any child who has the good fortune of being nurtured on this unadulterated teaching will be useful to himself and the community at large. The hypocritical posture of politicians on this policy must be condemned.
Our children must be allowed to understand, for instance, that Esu, the perfect trickster with a dual personality is not Satan or Lucifer, the arch angel in the Christian pantheon of the gods. When our children hear names such as Esubiyi, Esugbayi or Esuronmbi, the ready connotation in their minds is the devil of the Bible or the Quran. They cannot fathom why anyone who is not insane will bear such names in the society. Beyond names, certain virtues are considered the exclusive preserve of the established religions. Experience has, however, shown that there is a wide gulf between mere avowal and the actual deeds of those who profess piety.
The very first lesson to the Ifa devotees is on contentment as against complacency.
“Ohun enu ri ni enu nje,
adifa fun igbin ti o je erupe la”.”
The mouth is satisfied with whatever comes as food just as the snail relishes in the nutrients of the soil.” There are fables of the adventures of Orunmila or Obatala which are also didactic. The treacherous deeds of the bush rat, Okete and Osanyin, are replete in the Ifa corpus. The consequences of unfaithful deeds are taught with the fables of these mythical characters. Temperance is a virtue of the gods and any mortal lucky enough to be endowed with this special gift will experience peace which is beyond the understanding of man. A man’s character determines how successful he will be on earth. The story of “Iwa” teaches us that one of the greatest gifts bequeathed by the gods to man is the ability to do what is right.
I had the rare privilege of listening to Professor Olu longe who informed most of us who were ignorant of the invaluable contribution of the Ifa religion to the Yoruba accounting system. The basis of the computer is the Odu. The first 8 in 2 places making 16 multiplied by 16 making 256 to infinity is the principle upon which the operation of the computer is based. Whoever insists that our children do not deserve to know this fact is not only ignorant but wicked. I enthusiastically recommend the eminent professor’s lecture, “Irapada Onka Isembaye wa ni ile Yoruba”, to those who may not know that such as the ancient Egyptian religion, the Ifa corpus contains aspects of science, mathematics, accounting, medicine and ethics. It is most unlikely that any child properly nurtured on these pristine values can ever grow to become a burden to the society.
The government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is among the very few that can be regarded as focused. All good people must come together to encourage this exceptional leader who has displayed rare administrative acumen amidst the daunting challenges faced by him since he assumed office as the governor. Other ACN governors should follow the good example of this diminutive man who has taken giant strides in ensuring real development in a state once ravaged by locusts.
Doyin Odebowale, PhD, LLB (Hons), BL.
Lecturer, Department of Classics, University of Ibadan.
LET’S GET BACK TO AFRICAN SCIENCE-BLACK POWER-IFA IS PART OF THIS GREAT POWER!-OUR GREAT GOMINA RAUF AREGBESOLA OF THE STATE OF OSUN,NIGERIA IS INTRODUCING IFA IN A BIG WAY!-FROM THE SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIAMay 24, 2013
Osun students to study Ifa – Aregbesola
Our Reporter January 3, 2013 28 Comments »
Osun students to study Ifa – Aregbesola
…Says computer tablet has application for Ifa studies
From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo
The Osun State Government has announced a comprehensive plan for the state’s secondary school students to study Ifa as one of their subjects.
The state Governor, Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola, said the schools’ computer tablet had application for Ifa studies.
Aregbesola made the relevation yesterday during the special prayers session to usher in the New Year, organized with clerics from all religions praying for the peace and growth of the state.
Clerics who offered special prayers for the state included the President General, League of Imams and Alfas in the South-West, Alhaji Mustapha Ajisafe; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye; and frontline Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, among others.
The special prayer affected official functions in the state secretariat and other government offices, as top civil servants across all parastatal agencies graced the occasion held in the premises of the Bola Ige House, state secretariat, Abere, Osogbo.
Bishop of Osogbo Diocese of the Methodist Church, Bishop John Bamigboye, advised the government to compensate those whose property were demolished as a result of the ongoing road dualization in the state.
Bamigboye enjoined the government to return Christian and Islamic Religious Studies to all primary and secondary schools in the state.
Governor Aregbesola, in his remarks at the ceremony, declared that 2013 would be a year of total freedom for the state, stressing that the year would be for the people of the state a year of total turn-around and liberty.
According to the governor, the government’s major desire for the state in 2013 is to ensure the fulfillment of the desires of the state’s founding fathers, stressing: “Osun State will be freed in 2013 from hunger, mystery, poverty and under-development.”
He said his government has paid over N600 million as compensation to owners of demolished structures, even as he assured that those who were yet to receive their compensation would get theirs soon.
Aregbesola also disclosed that his government had returned religious studies to all public primary and secondary schools in the state, adding that the free computer tablet tagged ‘opon Imon’, which the government would present to secondary school students had an application for Ifa studies.
He also prayed for peace and development of the state in 2013 and urged all the people to support his government and the country with prayers, saying: “Nigeria needs prayers for an end to come to the security problem confronting the northern part of the country.”
Aregbesola added that his desire for the year was to make the state the envy of other states in the country, saying he had come to the state to do the works of God.
“KAKA K EKU MA JE SESE S AWADANU!
(THE RAT SCATTEERS SESE(A BEAN SEED) if IT IS PREVENTED FROM EATING IT!)
Aketi and Oke incur additional deficits
May 7, 2013 by Niyi Akinnaso (email@example.com) 16 Comments
Anyone who has been following Ondo politics would have observed that the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Peoples Democratic Party entered last year’s governorship race with different motives. The ACN wanted to “capture” Ondo State by all means, while the PDP was anxious to regain power, which it lost to the Labour Party in 2007. In the course of the campaign, however, the media focus was on the ACN, partly because of the large number of aspirants; partly because of the externalisation of the process beyond Ondo State; partly because of the visible role of the National Leader of the ACN, Bola Tinubu; and partly because of the various tactics employed during the campaign, including negative propaganda.
However, after investing substantial human, financial, material, and political capital in the October 20, 2012, governorship election, Jagaban returned to Lagos empty-handed (The PUNCH, October 22, 2012). I did not write that piece to deride my friend, Tinubu. As the ACN’s National Leader, he should encourage his political party to participate in elections throughout the country. My grouse was with the tactics used by the ACN, particularly the location of the planning and logistics of the Ondo election in Lagos and Osogbo and the massive negative propaganda which defied decorum and truth.
You would have thought that, having lost the election, Tinubu would have advised his political party to desist from making additional investments in a lost battle. Why, you would ask, would the ACN candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, go to court to challenge an election that was universally adjudged to be free, fair, and peaceful? Why challenge the victory of the Labour Party candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, given the overwhelming evidence in his favour?
Unfortunately, however, Jagaban, Aketi, and the ACN decided to behave like Kurunmi in Ola Rotimi’s play of that title, in which Brother Tortoise’s futile adventure was used to illustrate the tragic irony of Kurunmi’s engagement in a war he should not have fought. In his blind anxiety to disgrace the Alaafin and the Ibadan Lords, Kurunmi likened his enemies to Brother Tortoise as he derided them: “When Tortoise is heading for a senseless journey, and you say to him, Brother Tortoise, when will you be wise and come back? Tortoise will say… Not until I have been disgraced”. As it turned out, however, it was Kurunmi himself who was disgraced as his army was soundly defeated.
In further pursuit of their attempt to “capture” Ondo at all cost and perhaps “teach Mimiko a lesson”, Jagaban, Aketi, and the ACN headed for The Election Petitions Tribunal after Mimiko was officially declared as the winner of the October 20, 2012, governorship election. It is quite understandable why the electoral defeat was painful for them. On the one hand, Akeredolu would have loved to become the Governor of Ondo possibly in order to atone for his controversial services as the state’s Attorney General during the ignoble Abacha regime, when Akeredolu participated in the universally condemned arrest of Pa Adekunle Ajasin, his townsman and the first civilian Governor of Ondo State, for his leadership role in NADECO.
On the other hand, Jagaban, would have loved to add Ondo to his ACN empire in the South-West, perhaps in order to use the entire region as a bargaining chip in the 2015 presidential election. There are even speculations that he also wanted Ondo for its mineral and agricultural resources. His election campaign speeches, especially during the so-called Redemption Rally held at the Akure Democracy Park a few days before the election, also indicated that he wanted to settle scores with the governor for not crossing over to the ACN, despite his (Tinubu’s) “assistance” during the mandate fight in 2007.
However, as in Kurunmi’s case, disgrace came again when the three-member Tribunal, led by Justice Andovar Kaaka’an, dismissed the petitions of the ACN and the Peoples Democratic Party in succession on Friday, May 3, 2013. The senselessness of the petitions is evident in the grounds for their dismissal. For example, many of the petitioners’ witnesses, who testified before the Tribunal, did not actually witness the alleged acts but relied on what the judge described as “bundles of primary and secondary hearsay”, which is not admissible in law. Moreover, the testimonies of the petitioners’ witnesses were said to be full of contradictions and at variance with the pleadings in the petitions, which made the testimonies unreliable. The judge added,“No single witness testified that he or she did not vote or that the votes were taken away to unauthorised places after the election while no police report, which indicated violence during the election, was tendered by any of the parties”.
In a unanimous ruling, the Tribunal concluded that the petitioners failed to prove that their complaints substantially affected the outcome of the election. It added that the petitioners also failed to show that they would have won the election or that Mimiko would not have won it. A careful reading of the judgment shows that the Kaak’an-led Tribunal further enhances the credibility of the court as a desirable arbiter of electoral disputes.
The petitions and the Tribunal’s judgment raise important questions. First, why would electoral losers file petitions, when it was clear that they had no evidence to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that they would have won the election or their opponent should have lost it? This question is the more important when it is recalled that the candidates for both the ACN and PDP in the Ondo case are lawyers. There are two possible answers: Either they are still desperate to win or they want to prevent the governor from concentrating on the business of governance. The latter point reminds one of a Yoruba saying, Kaka k’eku ma je sese, a fi s’awadanu (The rat scatters sese (a bean variety), if it is prevented from eating it).
This leads to an even more fundamental problem, namely, the abuse of the judicial process. True, it is the legitimate right of the ACN and PDP candidates to go to court to seek redress, if they were truly aggrieved. However, it is a waste of time, money, and other resources to file petitions against an election that was well acknowledged by local and foreign observers as free, fair, and peaceful. Why conjure violence in a petition, when there were neither police reports nor eyewitness accounts of violence anywhere during the election? Where do we draw the line between a peaceful and a violent election or between a good and a bad election?
I raise these questions because the time has come when candidates should begin to accept electoral defeat with equanimity, as in Ghana and South Africa. Otherwise, we would normalise the practice of petitioning every election, no matter the quality of the electoral process and the sanctity of the outcome. Besides, if Aketi and Oke keep pursuing an election they lost badly at the polls and in court, what would they have done if they lost as incumbents? The state probably would have been confronted with a Laurent Gbagbo situation. On the basis of the present evidence and the Tribunal’s careful ruling, this matter should be regarded as closed,