Traditionalists under the aegis of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association of Oyo State (TRWASSO) have urged governors in the South West region to emulate Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state by declaring August 20th as public holiday in commemoration of Isese festival in their respective states.
The association made this call recently when they paid homage to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji at his Popoyemoja palace as parts of activities to mark this year’s Isese festival.
According to the traditionalists who were led by the Araba of Ibadanland, Chief Oyewusi Fakayode; Asiwaju Isin Agba, Chief Aderemi Oladejo and Akoda of Ibadanland, Chief Falere Odegbola also used the occasion to pray for the monarch over his 90th birthday, the state and country at large.
President and Secretary of TRWASSO, Surveyor Dasola Adefabi and Chief Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode who spoke on behalf of their colleagues stressed that both Muslims and Christians enjoy four public holidays each, but wondered why traditionalists after several years of clamouring for their own public holiday, none of the state governors in the South West region has deemed it fit to heed to their request except Governor Aregbesola of Osun state.
The duo remarked, “The Isese day has been in existence for many years and we have been clamouring for August 20 as our public holiday from the South West governors. Since over 10 years ago, we have been calling the state governors in the South West to declare August 20 as public holiday for the traditionalists to mark Isese festival.
“Since then, we have been calling on the governors to declare it as a public holiday. The state governors in the South West have been turning a deaf hear on our request as if they don’t know Isese festival exist, except Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state who had granted the request of traditionalists in the state to mark Isese festival in Osun state.
“In the past six years, Osun state government has been declaring it as public holiday even though we started the agitation in Oyo state before those in Osun state. They have been enjoying the public holiday since then, but we are calling on other state governors in the South West region to emulate Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state by declaring August 20 as public holiday in their respective states.
“We are calling on Oyo state government to declare August 20 as public holiday for Isese festival and we are also calling on other state governors too to declare August 20 as public holiday for Isese festival.
“In Oyo state, the state House of Assembly has moved a motion on it. But, despite the fact that the House of Assembly has mandated the state to do so, the state is yet to pronounce it as public holiday.
“We are now calling on the state governors in the region to give us what belongs to us. The Christians are enjoying four holidays and the Muslims too. The governors should refrain from promoting only their own religion. They should remember that Nigeria belongs to all of us. They should remember that Nigeria is a secular state. The country belongs to all of us.
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