- Muslims and Islamic clerics in Kwara State have kicked against the celebration of the Isese Festival in the state
- This agitation was made by the Council of Ulama (Islamic clerics), who described the Isese Festival as a pollution to the Islamic community of Kwara
- They urged the Kwara State government to deploy adequate security to clamp down on confrontations between traditional worshippers and Muslims
As reported by Punch, the Islamic cleric noted that the Ilorin Emirate would not condone any form of traditional festival or rites.
Justice Salihu Mohammed, the executive secretary of the Islamic group, stated this during a press conference held in Ilorin.
He stated that Kwara State remains an Islamic state that would not give room for diabolic practices that have been disowned for over 200 years.
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According to The Nation, he said:
“It is in the light of this that we have found it extremely necessary to plead with the Kwara State government and all stakeholders to appeal to the ICIR and similar interest groups to stay away from Ilorin as available evidence convinced us that the staging of the event in Ilorin would have a serious negative consequence on the peace of Kwara State.
“We are not unmindful of the pillage of aspersions and insults mounted on our father, the Emir of Ilorin and chairman, Council of Emirs and Chiefs in Kwara State, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari by individuals that are expected to know better, which are unfortunate, condemnable and inexcusable.
“As community and opinion leaders in our various places of abode, we are not unaware of the readiness of various youth groups never to allow the staging of the so called ‘isese’ festival anywhere in Ilorin."
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Mohammed, a former Grand Khadi of Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, spoke on behalf of the chairman of the Council of Ulama and Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheik Bashir Salihu.
The former Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court in Kwara State described the traditional festival as an activity that would pollute the already existing practice of Islam in the state.
He further described the move as an "act of cultural imperialism", forcefully imposing norms alien to Muslim youths in the state.
Mohammed urged the Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to deploy security operatives around the state for safety in case of an imminent clash.
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Meanwhile, Ilorin is increasingly becoming the scene of an epic clash between Muslims and traditionalists (Isese).
Recent incidents are markers of the religious animosity which started when a traditional worshipper of Obatala, Yeye Ajesikemi Olokun Omolara Olatunji, was prevented from hosting a planned festival for adherents of Isese.
Although top police operatives waded in, met with both Muslims and traditionalists and sued for peace, the crisis has refused to abate.