The umbrella body for all indigenous African religions, Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council, ARSADIC, has warned Islamic extremists in Ilorin, Kwara State, to stop further harassment and provoking its members in the state.
ARSADIC President, Aare Dr. Ifagbenusola Atanda, in a statement issued on Monday said this, following the unfolding events in last week in Ilorin, the state capital, where one of its members Omolara Ajesekemi, an Osun devotee and priestess, was intimidated over her faith by some Muslims.
He also warned that religious fundamentalism must not be encouraged in any form and in any part of the nation.
Atanda, who is also the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye, said it was wrong for a Muslim group, Majlisu Shabab li Ulamahu Society, and the spokesperson of the Emir of Ilorin, Abdulazeez Arowona, to threaten the priestess and to stop her from holding Isese festival in the town.
The statement read, “As long as we, the traditional religion adherents, know our boundary not to throw offensives at other faiths, we will resist any attempt to trample on our rights to freedom of religion and association as well spelt out in the Nigerian Constitution.
“We will never fold our arms and allow extremists in any guise deny us our God-given rights and supported by the laws of Nigeria as a secular state. We are quite aware that Ilorin, Kwara State is an integral part of Nigeria and we ready to defend our faith.
“Yeye Omolara Ajesekemi has our support at all times to practice her faith, the traditional religion, which bonds all of us together. And as the tenets of our faith have taught us to be pious, be law-abiding, accommodating of other religions and value humanity, we will refuse to be intimidated and humiliated by any group or anybody.”
He, therefore, called on the State Government under the leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and all security agencies to intervene and live up to their constitutional duties of protecting lives and property.