The National Council of Iseselagba (traditional worshippers) on Monday appealed to the federal and state governments to recognise its members in the scheme of things in the country.
The Awise (Speaker) of the council in Ekiti State, who said there were three religions in Nigeria – Christianity, Islamic and traditional – lamented that traditionalists were being neglected in appointment to positions in government.
Lawal, who spoke at a press conference in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, called on governments “to extend the hand of fellowship being given to Christians and Muslims in the area of appointment to traditional worshippers.”
He also urged governments to consider public holiday for traditionalists to celebrate as being done for the celebrations of Christians and Muslims.
“We appeal to the federal and state governments to declare every August 20 as public holiday for us also. That is a day that every traditionalist prays in their homes, makes sacrifices, propitiations and consultations throughout the country. There is a need for a public holiday for this so that we can have more time to pray and make effective use of the day,” he said.
Lawal called on Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, to consider the traditionalists alongside Christians and Muslims as he was shopping for the political appointees that would work with him to further the developmental strides he had embarked on since assumption of office.
He said, “As we congratulate the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for his victory in the February election, we appeal to him to consider competent traditionalists for appointments into various offices when he assumes office.
“If the traditionalists are considered, the zeal to pray for solutions to the country’s problems will increase. We have been praying for the towns, local governments, state and country, but if we are given due recognition, we would be encouraged to step up the prayers. We would step up our prayers for peace in the land.
“We have three religions in Nigeria. From the local government to the federal level, whenever they want to vote, they campaign to all of us – Christians, Muslims and traditionalists. Practitioners of the three religions will vote for them. But in terms of appointments, they will only call the Muslims and Christians. We need to be considered too.”