Isese festival: Lagos, three other South West states declare Monday public holiday.

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Governors of four South-West states have declared Monday as a holiday for all public servants and residents of the states in commemoration of Isese festival which will take place on Sunday (today).

The states include Lagos, Oyo, Osun and Ogun states.

In July, the Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to officially recognise and declare August 20 as Isese Day holiday in the spirit of democracy and freedom of religion.

In a circular issued by the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Gbenga Akosile, on Saturday, Sanwo-Olu said the recognition of the day was to serve as a means of preserving the indigenous Yoruba culture and its heritage.

He added that while all public servants were expected to get back to work at 8am on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, the state government would continue to provide the necessary support to traditional institutions in the state.

“The declaration of the work-free day by Governor Sanwo-Olu is a reaffirmation of his commitment to continue to provide the necessary support to traditional institutions in the state with a view to promoting our indigenous culture and tradition while preserving our heritage,” the statement added.

Also, the Chairman of the Ojodu Local Council Development Area in Lagos, Segun Odumbaku, said, “Being a custodian of culture, the Alaguda of Aguda Ogba, Oba Hakeem Agbaosi (Eweobaja 1) would be hosting the traditional and cultural rites at his palace in Aguda, Ogba and the Igunnuko Shrine in Akiode,” Odumbaku said.

The Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on Saturday, said his approval of Monday as a public holiday in the state was to promote oneness, unity, and religious harmony among diverse religions in the state.

The governor in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, added, “Finally, Mr Governor while congratulating all traditional religion worshippers and wishing them happy celebrations on this occasion, also wishes to implore them to make the occasion not only peaceful and fun-filled but another opportunity to pray for the government and good people of Osun State. The state government wishes Isese adherents a peaceful and rewarding celebration.”

Ogun

In a related development, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, while declaring Monday as a work-free day to commemorate the Isese Day in the state, in a statement on Saturday by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, commended the existing harmony among the adherents of all religions in the state.

On July 11, the Ogun State House of Assembly gave legal backing to the executive order.

Abiodun said, “The decision to accord Isese Day a special recognition was to continue in the tradition of respecting the tradition of our people and ensure the continuation of the unity and harmony among the three major religions in the state.

However, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, Taiwo Olatunbosun, on Saturday, said the state government had yet to declare a public holiday for Isese.

Olatunbosun disclosed this to Sunday PUNCH, adding that despite the silence regarding a public holiday, the Isese Day would be observed on Sunday (today).

Olatunbosun said, “We have not declared Monday as a holiday. I will get back if there is any development. Monday is already fixed for a statewide activity for the people and government.

“People are actually looking up to hearing from Mr Governor, particularly about his landmark achievements in the last 300 days that have been applauded by everybody across the state and it will be an opportunity for us to let them know what we have in mind for the last quarter of the year.

“However, tomorrow (Sunday), Isese festival will be celebrated. I am already in my hometown, Igbemo Ekiti, for a traditional festival which is Isese too. I am a high chief; we are in the midst of it right now.”

Meanwhile, the Awise (Speaker) of the National Council of Iseselagba (traditional worshippers) in Ekiti State, Dauda Lawal, said, “We still have the belief that the state government will declare the holiday because Ekiti State is part of South-West.

culled from Punchng

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