African traditional ruler demonises African traditional religion
Sir: Today, Saturday, October 07, 2017, I came to know that it was the same Alhaji Jerusalem Ajidagba who was used by the Saraki/Emirate dynasty to rig the chairmanship election of Offa Local Government in 2013 that is again engaged to be the chairman of the so-called Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC). One Kwaran after another phoned-in on radio, saying he should not do as he did in 2013, while some said he should resign. Apparently, the anchor helped him to dodge response to the appeal that he should ensure that all prospective applicants for elective positions are granted the opportunity to register for the election. Quite a number of callers hang God on the neck of Ajidagba, and urged him to remember posterity. Is he not under secret oath? This letter-article is also to remind the King of Ijara Isin, Yorubaland, Nigeria, to reconsider his disdain for African Traditional Religion (ATR).
On a radio interview aimed at showcasing his town, the king thanked God that Christianity and Islam are the only religions that now exist in the town. I would have ignored him if he didn’t thank God for a lamentable anomaly. He expressed joy that churches and mosques are proliferating in Ijara Isin, not minding that those are impoverishing institutions, calculated to milk people daily and weekly every Sunday, and are eradicating African heritages, including extended family values, religious peace, joy and harmony. I urge traditional rulers to emulate the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who has been actively promoting ATR and culture, as heritages that must not be allowed to be annihilated by agents of nihilist religions (Christianity and Islam) that cow and milk fellow human beings in the name of God, Holy Book, Prophet, and so on. The Alaafin is doing that, notwithstanding his “Lamidi.”
Any African traditional ruler rejoicing that ATR has disappeared from his own domain exposes the level to which he has been brainwashed. I enjoin those who are still adherents of ATR to educate their young children against the yeasts of Christians and Muslims. It is disastrous for ATR to become extinct in an African town. We should return to it for divination, joy and harmony. Some African traditional rulers are said to oppose celebration of ATR festivals so that they can get recommendation for promotion from the Emir. The traditional Yoruba would say, Ẹ káre; Ẹ kú iṣẹ́ (You do well; carry on; well done), sarcastically.
My own conviction is that posterity will not forgive anybody who occupies African traditional throne only to be using it to undo ATR and culture. The King of Ijara Isin said a committee is working to float an ancestral festival to bring the people together annually or occasionally, as may be decided, in addition to Ijara Isin Day. When you abandon ATR, you have abandoned the spiritual worth of the ancestors/ancestresses, through whom God gave you life, and a sense of what it means. And any river that abandons its source cannot prosper; it will eventually get dried-up. Go and see what Ọ̀ṣun, God’s Minister of Water Resources, is doing for Osogbo; Ọlọ́jọ́ (means God Almighty, the Owner of Daybreak), Ife; Shango (God’s Minister for Thunder), Oyo, etc.
• Prof. Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin.
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