I didn’t ban ‘Isese’ practice in Iwo – Oluwo

The Oluwo of Iwoland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Abdulrosheed Akabi, on Sunday, denied allegations that he banned Isese celebration in his kingdom.

While he stated that he’s a custodian of the Yoruba culture, the king said he only cautioned against the restriction of movement on people by the traditionalists, adding that “such will not be entertained in my domain.”

“There was never a time I banned Isese in Iwo except imposition of curfew to restrict people’s freedom of movement.”

Oba Akanbi said, “My point is, any deity restricting human movement is anti-progress. It should be done in the bush where no one leaves.

“Oro worshippers in Iwo should change their mode of engagement to exclude restriction of people’s movement. Such will not be entertained in my domain.

“It is banned in Iwoland and that’s it all.  Other Oro done in moderation and not placing restrictions on human freedom is permitted. Individuals are free to engage in their family deity as much as  people’s freedom is not hindered.”

The King cautioned, “I didn’t ban Isese. I’m an ancient traditional ruler, custodian of Yoruba culture, customs and traditions. I’m a father to all including the traditionalists,” adding that some members of the public “misconstrued” him.

He noted that even though he wasn’t in town, he financed the Egungun celebration in the town.

“I would have joined the annual Egungun celebration but was out of town for an important assignment. I mobilised financially  for the Egungun celebrants before I left home.”

To further justify his position, the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland questioned the effects of movement restrictions in the name of celebrations when there are cases of emergency.

“If I may ask, what will be the fate of an emergency patient being rushed to hospital? Of what justification is movement restriction to a student going to an examination hall at a particular time?

“Of what moral excuse is a restriction of movement in the name of Oro to an accident victim in urgent need of emergency medical attention?”

“You can do yours without disturbing others. No curfew should be imposed in an environment where people stay,” he ordered.

(Punch)

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