ILE-IFE (OSUN STATE) – Chief Faloba Fagbenro, a traditional practitioner in Ile-Ife, Osun, yesterday condemned Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for “marginalising’’ practitioners of the ancient religion.
Fagbenro said this during an interview with newsmen at his residence in Ilare, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
He said that the INEC failed to invite the practitioners to its recent meeting held with religious leaders, describing the commission as a “biased entity”.
The Ifa priest said that INEC needed to carry other religious believers along in the quest for peaceful conduct of 2015 elections, saying the process was too important to be left in the hands of few.
“I was taken aback by the action of INEC to recognise only the Christians and Muslims alone as if those are the only religions that exist in the country.
“That is not the practice in the advanced democracies, even in predominantly Christian or Muslim nations, other religions were always getting involved in critical issues like this to give them a sense of belonging.
“Traditional worshipers have a lot to contribute to the peace and tranquility of the nation and the stability of the system before, during and after elections; that is why our marginalisation is unacceptable.
“While we recognise the involvement of the royal fathers in the process, it is pertinent to note that there is a dichotomy between traditional institution and religion,’’ he posited.
According to him, many of the royal fathers are either Muslims or Christians and as a result of this, they cannot be said to be the representatives of the traditional faith in any way.
Fagbenro emphasised the need for INEC to always involve the three religions in any process they embarked upon, arguing that traditional religion with its millions of adherents should never be underrated.