The International Council for Ifa Religion (ICIR) has decided to put off the anticipated Isese festival in Ilorin, Kwara State, citing prejudice from the State Police Command towards the Ifa faith.
This follows earlier reports that the Emir of Ilorin, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, faced legal action for allegedly obstructing traditionalists from conducting their Isese celebration in Ilorin, the State’s capital.
ICIR President, Oluwo Solagbade Popoola, in a signed statement, underscored that the festival’s postponement was a measure to prevent potential clashes.
According to the statement, ICIR representatives were in a meeting with the Kwara State Police Commissioner on August 14, 2023, concerning their proposed Isese Day celebration scheduled for August 20, 2023, in Ilorin. The meeting ended with the police banning the festival due to escalating tension in the State as Arab religon adherents continued their threats
While acknowledging the police’s authority to enforce laws and preserve public order, the ICIR expressed concerns that the ban was an infringement on traditionalists’ basic rights in Kwara State and evidence of police bias against their faith.
The council statement further highlighted their awareness of potential threats from some elements within the Islamic faith, yet expressed surprise at the lack of police capacity or political will to maintain peace and order.
The ICIR, as a peace-loving organization, would never wish harm on anyone regardless of their faith. The council resolved to postpone the festival to a future date that promises more favorable conditions.
IMAGE: Sahara Reporters