The Oyo State government and practitioners of traditional religion in the state have agreed to collaborate and invoke spiritual powers to fight the recent surge in insecurity.

The resolution was part of the outcome of deliberations at a meeting on Community and Public Enlightenment on Security and Peaceful Coexistence, which was held on Wednesday at the State Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism in Ibadan.

Seyi Makinde

The Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, who convened the meeting on behalf of the government expressed joy for the support given to the governor by the traditional religion practitioners since the last governorship election.

He declared that the Seyi Makinde-led administration was working on the request of the traditional religion practitioners to be granted a public holiday. 

He stressed the need to involve them, among other religious bodies, in the effort to end insecurity in the state.

"I wish to inform you that work is ongoing on the approval of a special holiday for traditional worshippers in Oyo State, it is a long process that must go through legislation, executive assent, and state Gazette. The government is working on this and we need your continuous collaboration to make Oyo State more harmonious and attractive to investors.

"We need to involve you, our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters in the traditional religion in putting an end to insecurity in the state. We are using this opportunity to urge you to do all you can, including making spiritual appeasements, sacrifices to ensure and maintain peace in our state.

"In the old, our forefathers had ways of overcoming insecurity, we need to go back and adopt some of these methods to make our land habitable, to make Oyo State the pride of other states and attract investors to bring their businesses, which in turn will multiply employment opportunities and improve commercial activities."

The Executive Assistance on Administration to Governor Makinde, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, who was also at the event, called on the traditional religion adherents to continue to support the incumbent administration so that the developmental projects embarked upon by the government would continue.

Ogedengbe noted that since the arrival of Makinde's administration in the state, so many projects, programmes, and policies have been put in place to improve the welfare of the people and give support to the youths, the elderly, and others in the state.

While speaking on behalf of the traditional religion adherents, the Aare Isese of Oyo State, Aare Omikunmi Egbelade; Chairman, Asa Orisa of Nigeria, Chief Oke Adejare and Oba Ela of Oyo State, Oba Ojebode Awoniran, called on the state government to make funds available for the three major religion bodies, for them to offer sacrifices, special appeasements and prayers.

They urged the administration to accord them more recognition and give them a sense of belonging by approving the public holiday they have been clamouring for. 

Meanwhile, the state government has also met with the leadership of Ibadan masqueraders to inform them about the administration's message of peaceful coexistence. 

The emergency security consultative meeting on the Egungun festival in Ibadan was at the behest of the Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Security, Fatai Owoseni, who doubles as the Executive Secretary of the State's Security Trust Fund. 
Also present were the Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Alabi, State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, and Director General, Operation Burst, Col. Oladipo Ajibola (Rtd).   

Also at the meeting was the Alaagba of Ibadan (leader of Egungun sect) and Chairmen of four local government areas in Ibadan.

Mr Owoseni said the state government has provided more security personnel to monitor the activities of the masqueraders and urged miscreants not to join the procession, to avoid arrest and prosecution.

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