A socio-political interest group, Ebedi Frontliners, Iseyin (EFI), has called on Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, to intervene in what they termed “a brewing religious crisis” in Iseyin town before it results into killings and vandalization of properties.
The group said this in a letter which they sent to the governor, copies of which were also made available to journalists on Monday.
In the letter, the group referred to a court document in which an Islamic group is seeking an injunction to stop the celebration of Oro Festival which had been slated for September 22, 2019. The Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Ganiy Adekunle Oloogunebi (Ajinese 1), the traditional council of Iseyin Local Government and the leader of Oro sect in Iseyin were respondents.
The Oro festival is one of the traditional festivals obserrved in Iseyin. During the Oro festival, women are not allowed to behold the Oro masquerade.
The Publicity Director of the EFI, Alhaji Segun Fasasi, said the Islamic sect’s demand from the court is an attempt to create crisis in the Iseyin community.
Members of Ebedi Frontliners urged Governor Makinde to look into the case and put security agencies on the alert to avert possible breakdown of law and order by those they described as “intolerant of other people’s religion.”
The letter read: “Our attention was called to a brewing religious crisis in Iseyin community recently as an Islamic religious sect was said to have approached a court in Ibadan, the state capital to get an injunction for the purpose of preventing the adherents of Oro to celebrate their annual Oro festival.
“Sir, we heard this action was premised on the fact that the Oro traditional worshippers have picked 22nd of September as the day that was sanctioned by the Royal father, Oba (Dr.) Abd-Ganiy Adekunle Oloogunebi (Ajinese 1), Aseyin of Iseyin and other stakeholders, regarding security issues.
“We write as a socio-political organization that believes in peace as a pre-requisite for growth and social development and as well share the lofty idea that Your Excellency’s administration holds high and sacred so that Oyo state will not go back to the days of the dark.
“It is a known fact that Nigeria is a secular state and allows for freedom of religion, but in the years past, the people of the community have witnessed violent attacks by some religious zealots who claimed to be fighting for Islam against the Oro worshipers, resulting in loss of lives and valuable properties.
“We will be happy if your administration makes haste to pre-empt any plan to cause havoc in the community, which may lead to loss of lives and destruction of properties as our people have been enjoying relative peace since the emergence of your administration.”