Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has warned that religions should not be used as tools for destruction of tradition and culture of people in Nigeria if the country will join the league of developed nations of the world.
He said until Nigerians “begin to appreciate what God has done for us in Nigeria, appreciate humanity and place important priority in sustaining our culture, tradition and other core values of life, that is when we can continue to enjoy the blessings of God that are bestowed on us as a people.”
The Yoruba generalismo gave the warning in his address at the 2019 edition of Oro-Ebedi festival, held on Thursday, at Old NYSC Orientation Camp, Iseyin, Oyo State.
The festival was supported by the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) and Oyo State Chapter of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
He enjoined the leadership of Islam and Christianity in the six states in the South West of Nigeria not to use religions as tools to destroy the tradition and culture of Yorubaland.
Adams spoke against the backdrop of objection of leadership of Islam and Christianity to holding of Oro-Ebedi festival in Iseyin and the insistence of Oro adherents that the festival must be held.
The altercation led to signing of peace accord during a peace meeting convened by Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr. Shina Olukolu, with a strong warning that any group that contravened the law would be dealt with.
The Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdul Ganiy Adekunle Ajinese I, and some traditional rulers from Oke-Ogun zone of the state as well as distinguished son and daughters of Iseyin, graced the festival
‘’I feel bad whenever I see how some of us are doing everything to denigrate our culture. Some of us use religions as tools to destroy our tradition. And this is affecting us as a people.
“I want to make it clear today that the Yoruba nation of our dream is a collective responsibility. Therefore, it is instructive to say it openly that across the length and breadth of the world, history remains the bedrock of development.
“No nation in the world can make any meaningful progress without a good knowledge of history. All over the world, people’s culture and tradition take the centre stage.
“You appreciate people most by what they do and how they are able to impact their society. Let me say it once again that efforts should be made to sustain the cultural identity of the Yoruba race.”
Adams noted that Olokun Festival Foundation “is poised to promote the tradition and cultural identity of the Yoruba race. It is our duty to educate and re-orientate our people on the need to preserve what is truly ours.”
He particularly appealed to indigines of Iseyin to embrace the age-long tradition and culture of their forebears, adding that there are differences between culture, tradition and religion.