The traditional ruler of Isanlu-Isin in Isin Local Government Area of Kwara, Oba Solomon Oloyede, says the annual celebration of the New Yam Festival in the community has no idolatry undertone.
He said this in Ilorin on Monday in an interview with newsmen.
Oloyede, the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, said the New Yam festival was symbolic as it was the re-enactment of the ancient festival known as ‘Oorun.”
He, however, said many ancient festivals in the town like Sango, Egungun, Orisa Oko and Osanyin had been swept away by the advent of new religions,.
“The advent of modern religions and civilisation is gradually sweeping away whatever remains of many festivals in Isanlu-Isin.
“It is worthy to mention that my three predecessors on the throne contributed immensely to the spread of Christianity and Islam and to a large extent a considerable relegation of idolatry activities,” he said.
He said that when he ascended the throne, the task of uniting the people for religious activities was made easier with the cooperation of his chiefs.
“The declaration of Isanlu-Isin for Christ was gladly embraced by all and sundry as I received the cooperation of my chiefs, clergymen and the people of the town.
“I proposed to my chiefs that Christmas carol should replace the annual Egungun Festival and without any fuss, they agreed and cooperated with me, and Isanlu-Isin Christmas carol has been attracting huge attendance.
“It is my hope that in the future, we will be able to reinvent the Agba Festival to be in conformity with the modern tourism devoid of idolatry,” Oloyede said.
The traditional ruler said this year’s festival was grand as it accommodated free medical check-up and distribution of treated mosquito nets to the people.
He said special prayers were offered for the progress of the town and for God to continue to bless indigenes of Isanlu-Isin.