OSOGBO — Government offices and business institutions in Osun State were shut yesterday following a public holiday declared for adherents of traditional religions.
Many workers in the public and private sectors were unaware of the public holiday until they got to their offices.
Miss Dupe Oluwadare, a staff of the state House of Assembly, said she was not aware of the holiday up till the close of work on Monday.
Oluwadare, however, said she would spend the day resting and doing household chores.
Mr. Alfred Folayan and Mrs. Doyin Ajayi, both bankers, said they would spend the day at home for private engagements.
Mr. Toyin Alatiba, a businessman, who was at a bank on Old Governor’s Road to make a deposit, expressed surprise that the holiday could affect financial institutions.
The two local government secretariats in Osogbo, the state capital, Olorunda and Osogbo, also wore a desolate look as workers stayed away to observe the public holiday.
The public holiday was announced, late Monday, on the state broadcasting station by Mr. Sunday Akere, the Commissioner for Information.
Akere said the public holiday was to celebrate the world’s traditional religions on a day known as Isese.
According to the commissioner, Governor Rauf Aregbesola declared the public holiday in the spirit of equality among the various religious groups in the state.
Isese Day, among traditional religion believers, is the celebration of the peak of festivity in Yorubaland known as Odun Nla.’
“Hence, the holiday was given to them to celebrate with members of their families,” Akere said.
Mr. Sikiru Ayedun, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, said, yesterday, that the holiday was to be observed annually in the state.
He said: “It is a further proof of the fact that Governor Aregbesola respects the freedom of all citizens of the state to practice their beliefs.
“Christians have Christmas, Muslims have Sallah. It is not too much for traditional religion worshippers to have their own holiday in the spirit of equality.
“The traditional religion worshippers had made a presentation for the holiday to the government.”