The Traditional Worshipers Association in Oyo State has commended Governor Seyi Makinde for heeding their call for the re-introduction of the State Security Committee comprising representatives of security agencies, mornachs and religious leaders among others.
The group spoke on Thursday in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Dasola Fadiran, and Secretary, Dr. Fayemi Fakayode, said, efforts to fight insecurity would be made easier and less costly if stakeholders at the grassroots were brought together on monthly basis.
Recall that the body had earlier advised the governor to immediately fall back on the security committee approach to forestall security breaches in the state.
The statement stressed the need for issues relating to peaceful coexistence from different parts of the state to be brought forth for discussion.
It read that with the approach, government would have access to early warning signs on issues that could lead to crisis in the state and thereby help to promptly nip it in the bud.
It stated, for instance, that delegating authority to the local government management and the traditional leaders, as well as the religious leaders may be an effective way of boosting security across the state.
“We salute the courage of our governor for heeding our call for him to take the cheapest way out to solving crisis in the state.
“The State Security Committee was in place during the last administration and it was well used to make peaceful atmosphere pervade the state. It is cheap to maintain and it is used to avoid crisis instead of settling it.
“The government should make the committee membership have representation from all religious bodies, security agencies, traditional rulers and other strata of the society who have communal bearing on the people at the grassroot.”
It also urged the state government to partner traditional worshippers in a bid to make the forthcoming Oyo State Cultural-Tourism Festival more captivating and fulfilling, saying the event, if well packaged and given necessary publicity, would attract global respect for Oyo State as the hub of Yoruba culture.
In its strives for inclusion, it will be recalled that the group had protested what they termed discrimination by Governor Makinde-led government, last year, during a peaceful rally to the Oyo State Secretariat Complex at Agodi Ibadan by carrying placards bearing inscriptions like ‘Stop discrimination against traditional religion,’ ‘Oyo is a secular state’ among others.
Demanding that August 20 of every year should be declared public holiday for the traditional worshippers in the state, the General Secretary of the association, on the occasion, urged the state government to carry them along in the scheme of things as important section of the state.
He said, “The peaceful protest is necessitated by the attitude of the Oyo State Government to the practitioners of Yoruba Traditional Religion in this state. The present administration has refused to give the practitioners of Yoruba Traditional Religion in the state audience despite seeking its attention through letters.
“As if the discrimination we are suffering is not enough, the state government has also deprived us of our constitutional right of having public holidays. We, hereby, implore the Muslim Community, Christian Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders in this state, in the spirit of religious equity, to join us in our appeal to the Oyo State Government to stop her game of discrimination, neglect, relegation and frustration against the practitioners of Yoruba Traditional Religions in Oyo State.”