Nigerian Government Urged to Protect Traditional Religion Practitioners, Criminalise Intimidations

Following a recent religious conflict in Ilorin, the International Council for Ifa Religion (ICIR) has issued an open letter to Bola Tinubu, urging him to safeguard the rights of traditionalists in Nigeria. The ICIR condemns the silence of authorities and influential figures over the incident, calling for respect for Nigeria’s constitution and its emphasis on religious freedom and equality.

The ICIR highlighted an event in which arab religion extremists, backed by the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, threatened an Osun priestess, Yeye Ajesikemi Olokun. They objected to her desire to hold the Isese festival, branding Ilorin an arab religion city.

The ICIR contends that governments at all levels often disregard Nigeria’s religious diversity, favoring Islam and Christianity. The organization cites the recent intimidation of the Osun priestess as an example of this bias and criticizes the lack of action by the Nigerian Police and the Kwara State Government.

In the letter, the ICIR calls on the Nigerian government to recognize traditional religions, grant August 20 as a public holiday for their practitioners, establish a legal framework to protect their rights, and authorize the arrest and prosecution of anyone harassing or discriminating against practitioners. The organization also requests the establishment of a Welfare Board for traditional religions, and their inclusion in interfaith dialogues and policy formulation.

The ICIR concludes by urging the Nigerian governemnt to address the root causes of Nigeria’s current socio-economic situation, paving the way for a more inclusive future.

SOURCE: Sahara Reporters

IMAGE: Daily news

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