Activities of commerce in the crowed business district of Lagos Island around the Balogun Market and Dosunmu area was intermittently interrupted by traditional worshipers celebrating their annual Isese Day Festival.
Speaking on the celebration, the Opemoluwa of Ikate Land, Lagos State and President General of the Association of African Traditional Religion in Nigeria and Overseas, (AATREN), Chief Ifasegun Elegusi said that the traditional religion, despite its lack of recognition by the Nigerian Government, has gained global recognition and acceptance as a way of life of the African people all over the world and an acceptable way to worship God.
Members of the traditional religion trouped out in the streets of the major market area dressed in white and purple attires dancing and observing the rituals of the Isese traditions and celebration.
The AATREND president Chief Elegushi said: ‘’As traditionalists, we have never ceased to offer prayers and sacrifices on a regular basis for peace and progress in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole. What people see as Isese Day Celebrations on August 20, every year in all Local Government Areas of Lagos State and in other parts of Nigeria are a public presentation of prayers we offer in our closets by our different groups and denominations accompanied with the display of our cultural heritage, as sponsored by the association. So, our prayers are not for traditional worshipers alone but for all mankind throughout the world because we know that we can effectively relate with all humans and also worship our Creator with gladness’’.
The traditional religious leader informed that in the traditional calendar, August 20 marks the 1st day in the New Year and so attracts lots of rejoicing and thanksgiving to the gods for the preservation of lives and the continued existence of our dear country. He assured that as in the case of earlier celebrations, the 2018 edition would also begin on the 11th August, 2018 with a seminar in Lagos with the theme: ‘’The once rejected Traditional Religion’’, during which lectures will be given on the roles that the Traditional Religion has been playing in the maintenance of peace in Nigeria and the world at large. The celebrations would continue at group levels until August 20 when all groups would converge on centres across the state to address the public and entertain them with cultural displays with the royal fathers and chiefs in attendance to offer royal blessings and colour to the occasion.
In Osun Sstate capital Osogbo and other towns, banks and businesses were shut down to celebrate the Isese Day. Isese Day is set aside by the Osun State Government for traditional worshipers to celebrate their deities; the day being the peak of all traditional religious activities and festivities.
The government in a statement by the Supervisor, Osun Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Dr Obawale Adebisi, appealed to the traditional worshipers to be peaceful and law-abiding in their conduct during and after the festive period.
— Ajiboshin mubarak (@babyfine2012) August 20, 2019