Adewale Adetoyese, Osun
Traditionalists in Osun State under the aegis of Traditional Worshipers Association of State of Osun (TRWASO), on Friday converged in Osogbo, the state capital to commemorate the 2021 edition of the annual Isese festival.
EyewitnessMedia gathered that the event which held at the site of the proposed TRWASO secretariat complex in Abere, played host to traditional worshipers across the country and beyond, with the theme; ‘Decolonizing the mind; The Misunderstanding of Concepts in Yoruba Traditional Religion’.
In his welcome address, TRWASO President, Dr. Oluseyi Atanda, expressed his heartfelt joy over the progress made by the association in the previous years, stating that measures have been put in place to build on the solid foundation and do much better in years to come.
He said, “Today, to the glory of God Olodumare and the Dieties, we are performing a landmark event by commencing the first ever, first of its kind anywhere in Nigeria, where traditional religion worshipers have a jointly owned property allocated by a State Government and fully paid off by the Onisese.
“Our next step which is part of why we are here is to actualize the construction of the secretariat complex which comprises an administrative building, meeting hall, multi-purpose hall sitting above a basement museum to be christened TRWASO C.A.R. Museum which is another landmark achievement when completed.
“I want to on behalf of Traditionalists thank the government of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for his selfless services to the state which OGBEHUNLE acknowledges. I also thank members of this great association for their corporation that has brought us this far.”
Also in his Ose-Otura blessing on Ifa message, the Araba Awo of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuubon, thanked the immediate-past governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for pioneering the official recognition of traditional worshipers in the state.
“Anywhere where he (Aregbesola) is currently, may he be blessed and protected by Olodumare for what he has done.
“Wherever our current Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola is currently too, may the goodness and mercies of the Almighty Olodumare be with him for not discontinuing the goodness being enjoyed by all traditional worshipers in Osun.”
In his address, Osun State Governor, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, congratulated the traditionalists, pledging his government’s commitment to the welfare of all natives and residents of Osun.
Represented by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Simeon Obawale Adebisi, the Governor said, “To us as a government, we shall continue to create a healthy environment for all towards prosperity. All we seek is your corporation and support to serve you better.”
In the same vein, the Ooni of Ife who was the Chairman/Grand Spiritual father of the occasion, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, frowned at practices and speeches that seek to demonize traditionalists.
Represented by the Agbolu of Agbaje Ife, Oba Adekunle Adebowale, Ooni Ogunwusi said, “Traditionalists are like other believers practicing their religion according to their belief, that should be respected.
“I wish to congratulate the leadership and members of TRWASO for their resilience which has been productive over the years, I wish you a memorable and peaceful celebration.”
The event climaxed with the unveiling and launching of the TRWASO Secretariat Complex and the 3D prototype.
It also featured parade of Orisa colours by Esu, Osun Obatala, Oya Sango, Egbe and so on while traditional performance including the prominent Layewu (Ogun) masquerade, entertained the cheering crowd.