The Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council, ARSADIC, made up of Ifá religious worshippers, has expressed its readiness to assist Nigeria combat the Boko Haram insurgents ravaging some states in the North-East.
The Chairman of ARSADIC’s Executive Working Committee, Dr. Olalekan Ifagbenuola, made this known on Friday at a press conference held at Ile Oduduwa, Ile Ife, to seek government recognition for the group.
While noting that corruption among public office holders was the reason for the increasing rate of crimes in the country, he noted that this would stop if public office holders were made to take the oath of office in traditional religious ways.
According to Ifagbenuola, “If proper oath of allegiance is taken genuinely, our leaders would not misbehave when they get to power. If the oath is taken in a traditional religious way, they will not misbehave. There must be fear of God in anything we do.
“Corrupt leaders in offices promote crimes and if our leaders are honest, the level of crime in the country will greatly reduce. We are ready to assist to tackle insurgency, if we are invited by the government,” he stated.
ARSADIC continued that the problems confronting the nation should be tackle with seriousness because there could be no meaningful development in an atmosphere devoid of peace.
According to him, the umbrella body of the traditional religion worshippers was formerly known as Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants Association and was registered under companies’ ordinance in 1957.
He, however, stated that there had been a proliferation of traditional religion associations in Nigeria and all over the world but said the traditional worshippers had resolved to one formidable association.
Ifagbenuola, who described religion as an important instrument for development in any nation, maintained that successful nations, including China and South Africa, had given recognition to all notable religions.
“We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria in this era of change to follow suit and give due recognition to the ancient religions. We must quickly state that Nigeria is a complex nation of diverse group of people and culture; therefore, there would be more than one ancient religion in existence,” he added.
According to Wikipedia, “Ifá is a religion and system of divination and refers to the verses of the literary corpus known as the Odu Ifá. Orunmila is identified as the Grand Priest, as he is who revealed divinity and prophecy to the world. Babalawo’s use either the divining chain known as Opele, or the sacred palm or kola nuts called Ikin, on the wooden divination tray called Opon Ifá.”
Nigerian literary icon, Wole Soyinka has spoken favourably about Ifa. It has also been implied that the late music legend, Fela Kuti practiced the Ifa religion. Afro-beat singer, Bantu is an Ifa worshipper.