By Akeem Abas
Ibadan (NAN) Divergent views on Wednesday greeted the move by some lawmakers in the Oyo State House of Assembly to set aside a special day for the celebration of traditional religion.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that divergent opinions erupted at the special Yoruba session of the Assembly’s plenary presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Michael Adeyemo.
NAN reports that Hon Gbenga Oyekola (LP -Atiba State Constituency) and Safiu Olalere(APC- Ido State Constituency) had moved a motion calling for a special day for the celebration of Yoruba traditional religion.
The duo had advocated the need to recognise traditional religion as entrenched in the Nigerian constitution and demanded for its inclusion in the festive calendar of the state.
They observed that traditional religion had long been in existence before the advent of Christianity and Islam.
The duo stated that the Nigerian constitution made adequate provision for freedom of religion.
Reading the motion at plenary, Oyekola maintained that the place of traditional religion could not be waved aside as it has its own place of pride among other religions in the country.
But in their respective arguments against the motion, Segun Ajanaku, Joshua Oyebamiji, John Olaleru, Oyeleke Oyatokun and Michael Sangodipe held that the motion presented before the House fell under the Federal Government’s jurisdiction.
They all held that such matter was no longer what any state could deliberate upon.
The members observed that there would be no universality in any date picked by the adherents of different traditional religions in Yorubaland if the issue was to be considered.
Ajanaku said that the movers of the motion should have looked inward to come up with a motion that would advocate the national observance of Yoruba cultural heritage by the Federal Government over traditional religion.
He added that such would encapsulate other traditional issues that fell within the purview.
NAN reports that the motion was put into voice votes after robust deliberations by the Speaker and was supported by majority of the lawmakers.
Speaking to newsmen after the plenary, Oyekola stated that the motion was aimed at providing unity among all religious adherents in the state.
He added that traditional religion worshipers perform important roles like their Muslim and Christian counterparts.