Posts Tagged ‘OSUN STATE’

OLOJO FESTIVAL-ILE-IFE IS COMING OOOO!-BOOK FOR EVENTS NOW OOOO!

September 2, 2018

https://theeventsspace.com/event/greenmount-lounge-ade-bar-ife-ile-ife-osun-state-nigeria-festival-olojo-festival-2018-2/ : Celebrating Olojo festival in style
ON September 29, 2017 6:12 AM /
IN Just Human , Metro, News /
Comments
By Dapo Akinrefon
THE 2017 Olojo festival is expected to be celebrated in grand style as all road leads to the ancient city of Ile-Ife. The significance of the festival is that it brings about the unification of the Yoruba race.
The festival takes place annually in October and involves several elaborate ritual prayers led by the Ooni. It is marked in a carnival-like atmosphere and is attended by people of all ages.
Olojo has remained popular in Ile-Ife because it is the only day in the year believed to be specially blessed by
Olodumare (the Creator of the universe).
•Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi during the 2016 Olojo festival
Aside from this, the Olojo is regarded as the celebration of first dusk and dawn, and creation of the universe. The ancient city will play host to indigenes and non-indigenes in the town, expected to come out in their multitudes to celebrate the annual festival. All the major streets in the town will wear new looks in preparation for the festival.
Besides, the whole town will be agog as the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, will for the second time since his enthronement in 2015, wear the sacred Are crown. The crown is made of 151 items, parts of which are a cutlass and a hoe. It is also believed that the crown weighs over 60kg and is worn once a year during the Olojo festival.
Olojo festival
It is expected that major gods of the ancient town are appeased during this period. Regarded as the biggest festival on the culture calendar of Ile-Ife, the
Olojo festival is celebrated in remembrance of Ogun , the god of iron who is believed to be the first son of
Oduduwa as well as the creation of the world according to Yoruba mythology.
Annual ritual: On the day of the festival, the Ooni of Ife appears after several days in seclusion and denial, communing with the ancestors and praying for his people. The days in seclusion are to make him pure and ensure the efficacy of his prayers. Prior to his emergence, women from his maternal and paternal families sweep the palace, symbolically ridding the palace of evil.
After this ritual, the Ooni of Ife appears in public with the Are crown. Historically, the crown is believed to be the original crown used by Oduduwa to lead a procession of traditional chiefs and priests to perform at the shrine of Ogun . The next stage of the ceremony is to lead the crowd to
Okemogun’s shrine. At the shrine, the progenitor of Oduduwa performs duties including the renewal of oath, divination for the Ooni at the foot of Oketage hill by Araba (Chief Priest), as well as visiting places of historical importance.
Also, the traditional chiefs with the swords of office marked with chalk and camwood, appear in ceremonial attire and dance to rhythms from Bembe, a traditional drum. The style of drumming and singing for each chief is different.
Only the Ooni can dance to the drum called Osirigi . Olojo has remained popular in Ile-Ife because of its myth and history as it connotes the day in the year specially blessed by Olodumare , the creator of the universe. Prayers are offered for peace and tranquillity in Yorubaland and Nigeria. Tradition holds that Ile-Ife is the cradle of the Yoruba, the city of survivors, spiritual seat of the Yoruba, and land of the ancients.
Ooni starts 7-day seclusion
In preparation for the 2017 edition of the festival, the Ife monarch went into seclusion and is expected to offer prayers for the town and the country. Prior to the seclusion, the Ooni visited
Ile mole, a shrine in Moore for prayers after which, he moved to the seclusion where he remained incommunicado till this evening.
Giving insight to what he will be doing during the seclusion, the Ooni of Ife told newsmen that during the period, he would offer prayers for the country and its leadership. According to the monarch, during the seclusion, he would not be receiving visitors nor see outside. He said: “Our ancestors will be appeased during the period and by the time I re-emerge on Saturday for the grand finale, the rites will be concluded.”
Speaking further, he said the festival “is a celebration of the creation of the universe and many visitors from within the country and the diaspora will come around to celebrate with us. My duty is specifically to offer prayers and that I will do to the best of my ability.” On the significance of the festival, the royal father said Olojo is the celebration of first dusk and dawn and creation of the universe, with an assurance to work towards promoting further, all notable cultural festivals in Yorubaland.: Celebrating Olojo festival in style
ON September 29, 2017 6:12 AM /
IN Just Human , Metro, News /
Comments
By Dapo Akinrefon
THE 2017 Olojo festival is expected to be celebrated in grand style as all road leads to the ancient city of Ile-Ife. The significance of the festival is that it brings about the unification of the Yoruba race.
The festival takes place annually in October and involves several elaborate ritual prayers led by the Ooni. It is marked in a carnival-like atmosphere and is attended by people of all ages.
Olojo has remained popular in Ile-Ife because it is the only day in the year believed to be specially blessed by
Olodumare (the Creator of the universe).
•Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi during the 2016 Olojo festival
Aside from this, the Olojo is regarded as the celebration of first dusk and dawn, and creation of the universe. The ancient city will play host to indigenes and non-indigenes in the town, expected to come out in their multitudes to celebrate the annual festival. All the major streets in the town will wear new looks in preparation for the festival.
Besides, the whole town will be agog as the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, will for the second time since his enthronement in 2015, wear the sacred Are crown. The crown is made of 151 items, parts of which are a cutlass and a hoe. It is also believed that the crown weighs over 60kg and is worn once a year during the Olojo festival.
Olojo festival
It is expected that major gods of the ancient town are appeased during this period. Regarded as the biggest festival on the culture calendar of Ile-Ife, the
Olojo festival is celebrated in remembrance of Ogun , the god of iron who is believed to be the first son of
Oduduwa as well as the creation of the world according to Yoruba mythology.
Annual ritual: On the day of the festival, the Ooni of Ife appears after several days in seclusion and denial, communing with the ancestors and praying for his people. The days in seclusion are to make him pure and ensure the efficacy of his prayers. Prior to his emergence, women from his maternal and paternal families sweep the palace, symbolically ridding the palace of evil.
After this ritual, the Ooni of Ife appears in public with the Are crown. Historically, the crown is believed to be the original crown used by Oduduwa to lead a procession of traditional chiefs and priests to perform at the shrine of Ogun . The next stage of the ceremony is to lead the crowd to
Okemogun’s shrine. At the shrine, the progenitor of Oduduwa performs duties including the renewal of oath, divination for the Ooni at the foot of Oketage hill by Araba (Chief Priest), as well as visiting places of historical importance.
Also, the traditional chiefs with the swords of office marked with chalk and camwood, appear in ceremonial attire and dance to rhythms from Bembe, a traditional drum. The style of drumming and singing for each chief is different.
Only the Ooni can dance to the drum called Osirigi . Olojo has remained popular in Ile-Ife because of its myth and history as it connotes the day in the year specially blessed by Olodumare , the creator of the universe. Prayers are offered for peace and tranquillity in Yorubaland and Nigeria. Tradition holds that Ile-Ife is the cradle of the Yoruba, the city of survivors, spiritual seat of the Yoruba, and land of the ancients.
Ooni starts 7-day seclusion
In preparation for the 2017 edition of the festival, the Ife monarch went into seclusion and is expected to offer prayers for the town and the country. Prior to the seclusion, the Ooni visited
Ile mole, a shrine in Moore for prayers after which, he moved to the seclusion where he remained incommunicado till this evening.
Giving insight to what he will be doing during the seclusion, the Ooni of Ife told newsmen that during the period, he would offer prayers for the country and its leadership. According to the monarch, during the seclusion, he would not be receiving visitors nor see outside. He said: “Our ancestors will be appeased during the period and by the time I re-emerge on Saturday for the grand finale, the rites will be concluded.”
Speaking further, he said the festival “is a celebration of the creation of the universe and many visitors from within the country and the diaspora will come around to celebrate with us. My duty is specifically to offer prayers and that I will do to the best of my ability.” On the significance of the festival, the royal father said Olojo is the celebration of first dusk and dawn and creation of the universe, with an assurance to work towards promoting further, all notable cultural festivals in Yorubaland.

OGEDENGBE OOOO!-GREAT YORUBA WARRIOR OOOO!

September 1, 2018

#Òbíríkítí Ọmọlúwàbí Ethos (Bravery): Ògèdèngbé Agbógungbórò – Ogedengbe The Itinerant Warrior

Narrated By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

Ògèdèngbé is one of the most important men in the history of the Yorùbá. Ògèdèngbé was the Ìjẹ̀ṣà warrior who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Èkìtì-Parapọ̀ Army.

https://images.google.comimages.google.com/imgres/imgrehttps://images.google.comimages.google.com/imgres/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fogedengbe.com%2Fmediac%2F400_0%2Fmedia%2Fwarrior~pix.JPG&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fogedengbe.coms?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fogedengbe.com%2Fmediac%2F400_0%2Fmedia%2Fwarrior~pix.JPG&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fogedengbe.com%2F9702%2F&docid=Q7oRtKULBePz5M&tbnid=D3yaUG1IFW7sCM%3A&vet=1&w=382&h=500&hl=en-US&source=sh%2Fx%2Fim

His name at birth was Ọ̀rìṣàráyíbí Ògúnmọ́lá. He was born at Ijọka but taken to Atorin, near Iléṣà in Osun State in 1822 after he was named. He earned the name Ògèdèngbé for his dexterity in wrestling and fearlessness. Agbógungbórò was added when his war credentials soared. Growing up, Ògèdèngbé exemplifed valor, courage and industry. He was tall, intimidating, with piercing eyes. He grew up at a time of great unrest between Yoruba sub-ethnicities. In his youth, he was reckless, commanding and charismatic. Ògèdèngbé was involved in several campaigns against the Ìbàdàn who often attacked the Ìjẹ̀ṣà. In one of such during Ìgbájọ war in 1867 Ògèdèngbé was captured. It was said that, at Ìgbájọ, a young Ìbàdàn soldier severed his head, Ògèdèngbé staggered back and picked up his head, fixed it back. This terrified the Ibadan. Baṣọ̀run Ògúnmọ́lá captured him and took him to Ìbàdàn, where he fought for Ìbàdàn army and rose to the position of senior military commander. To make the ridicule complete he was given Ìbàdàn tribal marks. The Ìbàdàn thought someone might take him for an Ìbàdàn man and kill him in battle.

After the fall of Ọ̀̀yọ́, Ìbàdàn, a new city founded in the 1820s began its quest to rule and dominate the rest of Yoruba sub-ethnicities. The struggle for power, influence and survival led to a sixteen year internecine war among the Yoruba. That war was named Kírìjì – an onomatopoeic play on the thunderous sound of cannons fired by the Èkìtì and Ìjẹ̀sà, under the command of Ogedengbe. Kírìjì war was fought between the Western Yoruba (Ibadan, Modakeke Oyo and Ọfà forces ) and Eastern Yoruba (Ìjẹ̀sà, Èkìtì, Ifè, Àkókò, Ìgbómìnà, Kàbbà, Egbé and Lọ́kọ́ja). During the Kírìjì war, Ìbàdàn was fighting on five fronts. The first battle in Kírìjì war between the Western and Eastern forces called Ogun Jálumi (battle of waterloo) fought at Ìkìrun on 1st of November, 1878 ended in ignominious for the Ekiti. This defeat led the Èkìtì to Ògèdèngbé, who had been reluctant to lead the Ekiti-Parapo against Ìbàdàn under whom he obtained his infantry training. Ògèdèngbé led the Ekiti Parapo front, assisted by the Ẹ̀gbá, Ìjẹ̀bú and Èkó (Lagos) against Ibadan imperialism. Ìlárá-Mọ̀kín served as the military and reconnaissance headquarters where Ekiti War generals reviewed and perfected war strategies. The Èkìtì and Ìjẹ̀sà purchased cannons in abundance and that gave them advantage over Ibadan. During the Kiriji war, it was said that Ògèdèngbé would shoot arrows from his room to the battlefield. He was also known for making himself invisible. Ògèdèngbé trusted no one but his dog who is rumored to be more of a wild canine beast. People ran at the sight of the beast. Ògèdèngbé tied cowries on his dog on market days and the dog would walk into the Ìyálọ́jà stall. She would load supplies on the dog and the dog would return home.

After the armistice was signed to end Kírìjì war, Ògèdèngbé returned to a hero’s welcome in Iléṣà. He was honoured with the highest chieftaincy title of Ọbańlá of Ìjẹ̀ṣà, second to the Ọwá-Obòkun of Ìjẹ̀sà in 1898. After Kiriji war, Chief Ògèdèngbé lived peacefully until he died on the 29th July, 1910. Mysteriously, Ògèdèngbé’s dog disappeared immediately he died. Other notable war heroes of the 19th century Yorùbá were Baṣọ̀run Olúyọ̀lé, Ìbíkúnlé and Ògúnmọ́lá of Ibadan, Ọ̀náfọwọ́kàn of Ìjẹ̀bú, Ṣódẹkẹ́ of Ẹ̀gbá and Fábùnmi of Òkè-Ìmẹ̀sí.

It is hard to write about Ògèdèngbé without delving much into Kírìjì war. It was Kírìjì that cemented his legacy as a fearless warrior with remarkable skills in war strategy and weaponry. This defining Yoruba civil war will be discussed on Òbíríkítí some day soon.

OGBENI AREGBESOLA OOOO! The GREATEST GOVERNOR IN AFRICA OOOO! (OSUN STATE,NIGERIA)

August 24, 2018

OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA YORUBA STUDIES CENTRE IS COMING TO ADEYIPO!

August 24, 2018

OGBENI OOO!- AREGBESOLA BAGS HONORARY DEGREE !

July 31, 2018

Check out @LeadershipNGA’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/LeadershipNGA/status/1024026064664780800?s=09

GOMINA AREGBESOLA DONATED THIS VAN TO AFRICAN HERITAGE RESEARCH LIBRARY AND CULTURAL CENTRE,ADEYIPO VILLAGE,NIGERIA OOOO!

May 3, 2018

OGBENI PHOTO NEWS: Aregbesola Visits African Heritage Research Library AND CULTURAL CENTRE,ADEYIPO VILLAGE,OYO STATE ON JAN.16,2016

November 27, 2017

from yeyeolade.blogspot.com and osun defender newspaper

PHOTO NEWS: Aregbesola Visits African Heritage Research Library

Pictures of the Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the African Cultural Promoter, Yeye Akilimali Funma Olade, during a visit to African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre, Adeyipo Village, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday 19-01-2016.
https://i0.wp.com/osun.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Aregbesola-Visits-African-Heritage-Research-Library-and-Cultural-Centre-1.jpg

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right) and African Cultural Promoter, Yeye Akilimali Funma Olade (middle), during a visit to African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre, Adeyipo Village, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday 19-01-2016.

Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Christian Cleric, Evangelist Oyewole Olowomojuore (right) and African Cultural Promoter, Yeye Akilimali Funma Olade, during a visit to African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre, Adeyipo Village, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday 19-01-2016.

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AREGBESOLA OOOO!- PHOTO NEWS: Aregbesola Visits African Heritage Research Library AND Cultural Centre,ADEYIPO VILLAGE,IBADAN,OYO STATE-FROM OSUN DEFENDER NEWSPAPER

March 4, 2016

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YORUBA RELIGION EXPLAINED IS NOT “IDOL” WORSHIP FOR THE ORISHA ARE MESSENGERS FROM GOD LIKE JESU ATI MOHAMMED!-THIS SISTER EXPLAINS!-FROM THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

October 31, 2013

FROM PUNCHNG.COM

ImageImage,

The Christians against Aregbesola

October 17, 2013 by Abimbola Adelakun (aa_adelakun@utexas.edu)

With a-not-so-subtle-viewpoint, the Christian Association of Nigeria dredges up the familiar issues of morality, religion, secularism and victimhood in Osun State. CAN’s nuanced outburst on Monday, contained in its lengthy press release, indicates a shadow war between it, a Christian lobby group, and the governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, who is a Muslim.

Considering how much religious liberalism exists in South-West Nigeria, the case of CAN and Aregbesola raises questions of why Osun State and why at this time?

Recently, the Lagos State Government was reported to have sealed off the Lord’s Chosen Church over charges of environmental abuse. Governor Babatunde Fashola’s action did not denigrate into the belittling prattle of Muslim-governor-versus-Christian-worshippers hyperbolic navel-gazing. Compare this to CAN’s charges of Islamisation agenda, sponsoring and glorification of idolatry and, re-classification of public schools in Osun State by Aregbesola.

Fashola, of course, cannot be easily tagged with Islamisation bias like Aregbesola; both men are evidently different. In their self-presentation, Aregbesola’s appearance preempts your perception of his religious beliefs; Fashola’s subtle. Second is the admixture of geography and culture: Lagos is cosmopolitan; Osun is provincial.

Third, Aregbesola tries too hard to pander to every existing religious belief in Osun State. While doing this, he knows he must leave room to reassure his Muslim constituency he is still theirs. This kind of politics is confusing as it is unimpressive, and that is why his religious demons remain un-exorcised.

Religion in Nigeria, by the way, is about politics and politics is about contesting spaces. When sects push for space for their religion to thrive, it is not necessarily about social equality. The aim is their cut of socio-political relevance and the capital they can build with it. Their negotiating tool is, of course, the mammoth crowd that subscribes to these religions. The politics of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as both the President’s spiritual adviser and Public Address System is a demonstration of this crafty mix.

CAN’s contestation with Aregbesola is buoyed by his madcap educational policies; from indications, they desire to tan his hide.

My preliminary assessment of the re-classification remedy masquerading as a revamp of the education sector is that it is meretricious, and does not demonstrate genuine commitment to resolving the problems of education.

Aregbesola’s inspired carving up of schools and teachers is not exactly new. He should ask ex-Governor Rashidi Ladoja who promoted similar wasteful restructuring of schools in Oyo State when he stimulated policies that divided schools into as many as five and all of them had to cohabit in the same compound!

Why do governors go for artificial restructuring while they neglect the real issues of funding, curriculum content development, continuous teacher retraining among others?

However, CAN and its sense of victimhood confuses me. They complain Aregbesola has the dual mandate of Islamising Osun State and glorifying idolatry. How is that possible when the two are diametrically opposed? Is Islam not as intolerant of idols as much as Christianity? Unless of course their argument is that Aregbesola is using idolatry to deflect attention from his “Islamisation agenda” and, he is promoting “idolatry” so as to claim an equal opportunity secularism, I do not see the logic in their argument.

Speaking of idolatry, what does CAN mean by classifying traditional religions as idolatrous?

I am at a loss over how to characterise the bigotry that reeks from CAN’s release. They claim they are “gravely concerned” about Aregbesola’s love for idolatry and cultism, but why the paternalism? Are members of CAN so detached from cultural realities that they see the worship of Ogun or Yemoja as idolatrous and cultic? Have they actually studied African Traditional Religion and its philosophies objectively? Or, they are merely parroting what their colonial forbearers handed down to them?

If CAN desires to see ‘idolatry’, they should look within its varied sects: crass materialism and the pastor figure are the idols on the altar people feverishly worship these days in most ecclesiastical gatherings. They further ask, “Why Ifa in this century?” and I respond, “Why Christianity in the 21st century?”

They even refer to traditional religions as “ancient idols” as if the existence of Abraham, Isaac and Jesus Christ is not as old –and possibly predates — the Yoruba pantheon of gods. CAN’s shocking lack of tact and pernicious attitude towards others’ faith gives a hollow ring to its redemptive press release.

CAN’s position makes the need for studying comparative religion right from primary school a must –not only in Osun State but also in all states of the federation. It will disabuse ignorant minds that the worship of Ogun is neither idolatrous nor cultic. Its prejudice against traditional religions shows its members lack any higher moral ground than the governor whom they accuse of upsetting social order with his religious overzealousness.

If Aregbesola were a Christian, and he was fiddling with Islamic institutions, would CAN have stood up to him? Would it agitate for equality if it were not a beneficiary?

That said, for Aregbesola, I will restate a position I have made on this page on the issue of Hijab in public schools: It should not be allowed because it is not only religious, it is political. Introducing politics to school uniforms defeats the whole purpose the concept of uniform was introduced in the first place. Uniforms are a social, class, and religious leveller and should be rigidly enforced to maintain the discipline of standardisation.

As to the question of mixing up children in other schools with the ones in mission schools, well, I understand CAN’s angst but then, any child should be able to attend any school as long as it is publicly owned. Both Muslims and Christians pay taxes in the state, so why discriminate?

Finally, I return to the third reason for CAN’s restiveness: Aregbesola’s religious pandering upsets. If he is not putting the Bible and Quran on Opon-Imo, he is advocating Isese Day for traditional worshippers. At the same time, he is busy throwing his religion in your face with billboards that announce his private devotions. And if his religious affront has not annoyed you enough, he seeks to introduce Ifa into the school curriculum. He does all these without any coherence or stating where he stands in the whole affair. This madness without methodology is confusing, like watching a footballer who insists on playing all positions.

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YORUBA RELIGION DEFENDED AGAINST THE IGNORANCE OF THE ‘MISEDUCATED ‘EDUCATED YORUBA ELITE!- IFA IS AFRICAN SCIENCE-TRUE BLACK POWER!-FROM THE OSUN DEFENDER, NIGERIA

May 24, 2013

THE GREAT BLACK POWER OF IFA!

THE GREAT BLACK POWER OF IFA!


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OSUN DEFENDER

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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.

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