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Netizens Condemn ‘Discriminatory’ Cancellation Of Isese Festival In Kwara State

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Nigerians have taken to multiple social media spaces to express their displeasure about the recently cancelled Isese Festival scheduled to hold on August 20, 2023.

Isese is a Yoruba term for tradition, to denote the different kinds of festivals held by adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion in Nigeria and Cuba, Brazil, the United States, Benin, and other countries.

Last Tuesday, news surfaced that the August 20 planned Isese Festival in Ilorin Kwara State had been cancelled on the orders of the State Police Command.

A statement signed by the President of the Isese Council, Oluwo Solagbade Popoola, and made available to The PUNCH, states that the festival was cancelled by the police “as a result of what they called rising tension in the state.

“ICIR is not unaware that police authorities have the power to enforce laws and regulations, maintain public order, and ensure the safety and security of the community.

“They can also, under certain circumstances, impose restrictions or place a ban on specific events or activities if they deem it necessary for public safety, law enforcement, or other legitimate reasons,” the statement read in part.

Nigerians have since taken to social media to share their thoughts on this latest development. While some called the police and the state government out for their bias, a couple of others, mostly Muslims advocated the ban to remain permanent in the state.

Malcom Omirhobo tweeted; “Christians & Muslims in Ilorin celebrate their Christmas & Salah without disturbance but African Traditional Religion, Ifa/ORISA devotees & adherents are not allowed to celebrate Isese. They are coerced by the very police that are supposed to protect them. This is discriminatory.”

Yemi simply tweeted, “Ilorin is breeding extremists already. Na from Ile kewu e dey starts to reach MSSN. Everything about that Islam ideology na violence.”

Another Twitter user who goes by the handle A Little Kindness wrote, “A country where a certain part of the nation can not freely practice their own culture. Something must be wrong because all these things are not ordinary.”

Omo Nigeria also tweeted, “Islam or Christianity is not associated with any particular tribe or State. Ilorin which is a Yoruba state is predominantly occupied by Muslim Yorubas. However, Nigeria is a secular State and any citizen have the right to practice their religion without fear or intimidation.”

Oluwasegun Oluwajuwon on Instagram wrote; “When trouble sleep yanga go make am……. traditionalist all over should come to Ilorin on dat day and let us see what will happen. God no get religion, if u be a Christian or Muslim no say you must enter heaven. Come to think about it, these alfas buy and use things wey Isese dey use and na Muslim wives dey sell dem pass for the market. Who is fooling who? If the fight starts na juju d Muslim go use fight the Isese people .”

Emmanuel also wrote, “Afonja sold the community for gunpowder and horses and forcefully took over the community and introduced a foreign religion called Islam ☪️….you all been denying your origin and say you’re serving God..bunch of illiterate 😢.”

Ifa Funsho, an Isese Devotee commenting wrote, “The Isese in Ilorin will hold. All these noises coming from these groups of Muslims will not change anything. If Kwara is the city of Yoruba speakers. That translates to culture. Language is part of the culture. But Islam is Arabic & Arab culture. Common sense shouldn’t be hard.”

Muslim devotees have since joined in on the conversation as well.

Nana Juwairriyah a Muslim devotee on Facebook wrote: “It should be called off completely and never to be mentioned again in that Muslim city.”

Balogun Gbolahan, another Muslim devotee cursed Isese devotees commenting, “You shouldn’t stop it now. go there and do ur Isese oriburuku yin now.”

Facebook user Omo Ilorin, joined Gbolahan in cussing Isese Devotees saying: “Koni dafun gbogbo yin,” meaning it shall not be well with every Isese worshipper.

“Better,” Medina Usman, a Muslim devotee simply commented in support of the Isese festival suspension.

Ibeji Noble, a Christian supporting the Muslim stance on eradicating Isese worship from Ilorin commented as well saying, “If the Muslims in Ilorin say they no longer want the Isese festival to hold again Ilorin, we all need to respect their decision… after all, the land belongs to them…na dem be the landlord.”

The fight for the freedom of worship in Kwara state has been a continuous battle since June when The Punch reported on how Yeye Omolara Ajesikemi was threatened and bullied until her planned Isese Festival, scheduled to hold in the state was cancelled and later celebrated in Lagos state.

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Business

BREAKING: Tinubu Appoints Ayodeji Gbeleyi as BPE DG

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President Tinubu
– Ayodeji Gbeleyi appointed as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises
– Renowned financial expert and award-winning chartered accountant
– Over 30 years of experience in diverse sectors

President Bola Tinubu has appointed Ayodeji Ariyo Gbeleyi as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

According to the President’s spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, Gbeleyi is expected to bring his vast experience and competence to bear in this role.

Gbeleyi is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

He has also attended executive programmes at the prestigious London Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Lagos Business School.

With over 30 years of post-qualification experience in diverse sectors, Gbeleyi is well-equipped to strengthen the agency as the national resource centre for capacity building and sustenance of reforms.

The President expects him to promote a competitive private sector-driven economy and ensure social accountability and efficient deployment of public resources.

“The new Director-General is expected to bring his vast experience and competence to bear in this role,” said Ajuri Ngelale. “He will advance effective corporate governance and fiduciary discipline in the public and private sectors.”

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Opinion

Love Knows No Age: Breaking Down the Taboo of Younger Men Dating Older Women in Nigeria

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As I explore Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, I’m struck by the harmful biases that exist.

One example is the stigma against older women dating younger men – a double standard that restricts women’s choices and reinforces harmful gender stereotypes.

In Nigeria, a woman’s value is often tied to her age, with younger women being prized for their beauty and fertility.

what about older women who desire love and companionship? Why are they shamed for their relationships, forced to hide their love due to societal pressure?

The double standard is clear. Older men marrying younger women is widely accepted, even celebrated, while older women in relationships with younger men face judgment and discrimination.

This issue affects men too, who are trapped by societal norms, forced to conform to traditional gender roles and expectations.

It’s time to challenge these outdated norms and embrace love in all its forms by promoting gender equality and inclusivity.

Let’s look to inspiring examples of older women who have defied societal norms and found love with younger men. Women like Gabrielle Union, who has spoken publicly about her relationship with her husband, Dwyane, who is several years younger than her or women like Viola Davis, who has embraced her love for her husband, Julius Tennon, despite their significant age difference.

These women are trailblazers, paving the way for a new generation of Nigerians who refuse to be bound by societal norms.

They show us that love knows no age, no gender, and no boundaries. It’s time for us to follow their lead and create a society that truly celebrates love in all its forms.

Research has shown that relationships with significant age gaps can be just as fulfilling and long-lasting as those with smaller age gaps. In fact, some studies suggest that older women in relationships with younger men may experience increased happiness and satisfaction due to the younger partner’s energy and enthusiasm.

By letting go of societal constraints and embracing our true desires, we can experience increased self-esteem, confidence, and overall life satisfaction.

we can create a society where everyone can love freely, without fear of judgment or rejection.

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