Adebayo Adenrele

urges Oyebanji, 2 others to declare public holidays for traditional festivals

The stakeholders of International Congress for Ifa/Orisa Spirituality (ICIOS) have appealed to the federal government to allocate fund for the annual Ifa festival and Pilgrimage.

The stakeholders, representing the President of the congress, Chief Sholagbade Popoola, stated this on Friday at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, in commemoration of 10th anniversary of World Ifa/Orisa Festival and Pilgrimage, Oke-Igeti 2024.

The ICIOS General Secretary, Akomolafe Wande expressed concern over how the government invest on faith tourism outside the country by neglecting its unique spiritual heritages like River Jordan, among others in Nigeria.

Wande, who was once a former Deeper Life Pastor said if the federal government allocate 10% of the fund being allocated for faith tourism to other countries, it will generate revenue as a result of international interest that will be accommodated.

His words, “In this year, the federal government subsidized Hajj fares with N90bn which is almost a quarter of the Nigerian budget.

“Give us 10% of the money, we will transform the country and other people will be coming.

“We can do more than Saudi Arabia is doing. Government should please come to our aid on Faith tourism. They should give us 10% of what they are giving to other religion”. He said

On his part, the Secretary of ICIOS, Ogun State Chapter, Oluwo Ifaniyi Awoyemi urged the government to recognize the relevance of Ifa culture and support their efforts to develop faith tourism, which can generate revenue stream for the country.

He also urged Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to declare public holidays for Ifa celebrations as being done in other south west states.

According an Ifa Lecturer, Fakankun Funmilayo argued that Ifa has significant untapped advanced technology, and knowledge filled in its philosophy, metaphysics and Spiritual diagnosis, adding that Ifa can equip the forces beyond natural realm in a time when Nigeria faces numerous security challenges.

Fakankun explained that Ifa also has life after death, and its emphasis is for good deeds, adding that the concept of devil does not exist in Ifa.

She also lamented, saying “We have written multiple proposals but to no avail. We need listening ears, let them give us the chance and see whether it is worth it”.

Similarly, Ayobami Ogedengbe-Arabia Awo of Oke egbe Akoko, emphasized the richness of Ifa knowledge, philosophy, and metaphysics, which can help address various problems, stressing the need for research into Ifa medicines and the exploration of other areas particularly its metaphysics that can be weaponized for the Nigeria military.