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Oro Festival: Oyo Commissioner Of Police Reads Riot Act to Religious Groups in Iseyin

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By Richard Thomas, Ibadan

The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, CP Shina Olukolu has warned religious groups in Iseyin to shun violence and tolerate one another during the forthcoming Oro festival in Iseyin community.

The Police boss gave the warning on Thursday at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Command Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan to maintain peace and bring down tension over the planned celebration of the  Oro festival in Iseyin.

WESTERN POST gathered that there had been crises between the Muslim community and traditional religion worshipers in Iseyin over the Oro festival scheduled to hold between Sept. 22 and Oct.8.
According to the CP,   he was compelled to call the meeting to address the matter which could lead to a conflict of very serious magnitude and disrupt the peace of the state if not well addressed.
The commissioner, who said the brewing misunderstanding had affected diverse groups in Iseyin, advised all the parties involved to shun violence and allow peace to reign.

” Religion should not be the basis of our division and this meeting is to re-emphasize the need for tolerance to ensure that peace and tranquility reign in the state.

“The police and other security agencies in the state will not hesitate to bring to bear the full weight of the law on anyone involved in violence,” Olukolu said.

In his remarks, a Muslim cleric, AbdulAkeem Olajobi, alleged that traditional religion worshippers were often sighted carrying different weapons during the Oro festival and restricting the movement of female residents.

The cleric, however, assured the commissioner that peace would reign based on the agreement reached by all parties during the meeting.

The Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Iseyin, Rev. Christopher Olugbade, also pledged to promote religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

A representative of traditional religion worshippers, Mr Fadare Faniyi, however, said adherents were not preventing free movement of people during the celebration.

He pledged the commitment of his members to the peace agreement reached at the meeting.

The Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Salawudeen AbdulGaniyu, said the parties had agreed that the Oro masquerade would only move about between the hours of 5:30pm and 4 am and would not promote violence.

In his remarks, Fatai Owoseni, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, called on religious leaders to control their followers to ensure that peace and development reigned in Iseyin and Oyo State in general.

Owoseni urged religious leaders to caution their followers to separate criminality from religion, saying unwholesome practices and beliefs had been introduced into the religion.

According to him, the Seyi Makinde administration remains committed to the promotion of peace in the state.

Those at the meeting included the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Fausat Sanni, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Honourable  Olufunmilayo Orisadeyi as well representatives of the army and Department of State Security among others.

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