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The study of Ifa in Osun schools


One feels compelled to write this piece on the recent announcement by the Osun State Government on the introduction of the study of Ifa religion in all its schools. While no time should be wasted in congratulating the government led by the visionary Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on this courageous and needful step, a conscious attempt must also be made to educate those who may be genuinely regarded as ignorant on the socio-legal imperative of permitting a pan-Yoruba ethos play a pivotal role in the development of the society.

All efforts made at raising the level of development must be anchored on this all-embracing substratum. As for hypocrites, commercial religionists with vast business empires which thrive on the very objects of deceptive public excoriation, we must hasten to allay their fears that this novel but necessary introduction will not affect the enterprise of “miraculous healing” and the promise of prosperity in a land already devastated by political locusts.

A multi-cultural milieu, such as Nigeria, must recognise and accept the reality of ethno-religious pluralism and the attendant divergence to promote equity, fairness and justice among the ethnic nationalities and groups, the necessary conditions for amity, peaceful co-existence and realistic aspirations towards growth.

This is the irreducible minimum below which no group should be subjected. The omniscient posture adopted by the adherents of prominent religions, Christianity and Islam, exposes abysmal ignorance on the essence of other indigenous religions and explains why intolerance adorns an official garb in various shades. This combative attitude is also symptomatic of a post-colonial society still reeling from the debilitating effects of foreign subjugation in all ramifications.

The dubious and ostentatious display of piety by these men of God, on one hand, and their obscene materialistic disposition, is more than sufficient to cause a serious study into the misfortune of a society in decline. We leave this interesting topic for another time. For now, it suffices to assert that this present move by the government is the most significant since independence.

If development is about the people, then it should be taken as given that understanding the ways of life of all who live in the society is a sine qua non to planning. The challenges faced by various categories of people compel introspection and determination, which will ultimately lead to progress.

Professional politicians, deprived of patronage for two years now in Osun State, considered the source of the people of the South western part of the country, will also stop at nothing to confuse the people who have been dispossessed over the years. If our children are made to study foreign religions and some even get higher degrees, including PhDs, knowing other peoples’ cultures, then it is rather salutary that a government is considering making the study of Ifa religion an option in the school curriculum in Osun, albeit belatedly. Nigeria is a place where the elite take pride on being proficient in speaking and writing other people’s languages.

We crave advancement depending solely on the cultural ethos of other lands. Our claims to decency are often predicated on the fact of our adherence to the precepts of either of these foreign religions. We are nurtured to imbibe the customs and traditions of those who treated our ancestors with utter contempt.

We grew to hate what is truly ours. We receive awards aping the ways of life of other lands. What belongs to us is despised and treated with unimaginable derision. Our cultures are subjected to foreign prisms in determining their acceptability. It is expected that deluded beings, who either believe genuinely in the myth of superiority of these imposed sub-sets, products of the perceptions of other peoples on natural phenomena observable within their societies, will join issues with this truly progressive leader of the people. What we must, however, eschew is silence which suggests connivance at the unwarranted attacks on the dynamic governor who has turned the fortunes of the state around positively with the little resources at his disposal. Nuhu Ribadu, a man not known to suffer fools gladly, just attested to the sterling qualities of this exceptional character.

Several other people have been commenting on this ascetic being whose energy belies his physical stature. Religion was central to the development of ancient Egyptian civilization. The challenges faced by the Egyptians compelled them to look for solutions in the spiritual realm. Disasters, prominent among which was the constant inundation of the Nile, were considered as sanctions from the celestial beings.

These ancient people used their belief in life after life and the existence of a supernatural being, Ra, whose decisions were unquestionable, to interact with their natural environment. The modern world is the direct beneficiary of the legacies of their fecund minds. Their children were nurtured on the nuggets of beliefs, which propelled keen observation of natural phenomena.

This attitude gave provenance to the unparalleled scientific discoveries for which the Egyptians are still widely acknowledged. The originality of the thought process ensured that all nations in the ancient world looked up to it. Greece became the greatest beneficiary of this unique ancient civilization and, by necessary implication, the western world in the modern sense of the expression.

What the average hypocritical and ignorant Nigerian will regard as superstitious and sinful formed the basis upon which his faith predicated on this imported religion is established. The judicial system of the ancient Egyptians was an aggregate of their socio-cultural values. These were contained in the curricula of the schools at various levels of learning. The Chinese also developed their civilization independent of other existing ones, relying heavily on their cultural values. China today is an exemplar in advancement because it has never allowed any undue influence on her socio-political system built on oriental values.

This country stands out today as a bulwark of inspiration when most western nations are grappling with issues of survival occasioned by debilitating economic circumstances. A Chinese child will never look up to the West for socio-economic redemption. The child believes that his/her language is the best and only learns other foreign languages to derive advantage in a competitive world. He/she does not in any way feel inferior to the western child.

The state has no official religion, yet the Chinese child is not precluded from studying any subject of interest. American students now come to Nigeria to study specific aspects of our much- despised culture. They speak impeccable Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo, among other Nigerian languages.

That is not a challenge to them at all. They are keen researchers on the mysteries of our ancestral past. They come to study Egungun cult, the talking drum and its significance in information dissemination, cultural values as encapsulated in the Odu Ifa corpus, among others.

They become initiates of the Ifa religion, which ignorant and ill-educated Africans denigrate. The tragedy of the whole scenario is that they are now in a position to educate us on our past. While we struggle to ape the Europeans, Americans and Arabs, we have become alienated from our origin. Nothing from us is good except it is subjected to western approval. So deracinated and uprooted from our origin have they become that fanatical members of some families openly destroy artefacts and other valuable vestiges of the glorious epoch when crass mercantilism had no impact on the psyche of the people.

Traditional rulers are the most pitiable characters of these tragic-comic elements. Some of them employed all manner of underhand methods to subvert the process of selection to become deluded kings in a republic. Once they ascend the so-called throne of their forefathers, they soon discover that their past was sinful.

In their hypocritical exhibition of vacuous devotion, they destroy shrines and shun religious rites, which justify their anachronistic existence in the first place. They invite commercial pastors to come and preach to their so-called subjects to do away with the traditional ways.

These religious businessmen in turn flaunt these clowns as trophies won in the battle to civilise the natives. They denigrate the very essence of their sustenance as custodians of the people’s customs and tradition. They cherish the flowing three-piece traditional attire and the complementary ponytail, veritable emblems of indulgence and vanity.

And just as their forbears collaborated with slave traders, commercial precursors of the proselytising hypocrites to raid villages and hamlets for slaves, they too are willing participants in the pillaging of the resources of the state at the local government level. Very few of them deserve attention in the midst of decent people.

Granted that the retrogressive position held on indigenous religions is correct, does it not make sense that our children are trained to know why their ancestral past must be condemned? We have fed generations of Nigerians, nay Africans, on foreign diets before independence through post-colonial period to the present time.

The ultimate ambition of an average child is to be white in everything. Is it not ironic that at a time when the western world looks towards Africa for cultural renaissance, our people strive unabashedly to cast aside everything which reminds them of their beginnings? Adherents of African traditional religions have been discriminated against over the years.

The Nigerian experience has been heart corroding. Supposedly educated religionists jettison family names, which remind them of “pagan” practices. They adopt scriptural names of other cultures alien to the continent without understanding their significance.

Thus we see funny names such as “Olugbemi” in place of “Fagbemi.” What ignorance! The new policy on education in the State of Osun will afford our children the opportunity to know that the difference you find in all religions of the world is in the practice.

Doctrinal issues have now subsumed the didactic and edifying aspects of religion. In Nigeria, economic consideration far out-weighs the sincere quest for spiritual regeneration. The Osun example has exposed the lie peddled by people who exploit religion for selfish purposes. Our children must be allowed to know something about what they are called upon to hate.

They should be able to decide if there is any remarkable difference between the promoted religions and the message in the Ifa corpus. Students whose parents are adherents of Ifa religion must also be allowed to study their faith in an ambience devoid of discrimination and intolerance.

Virtues such as continence, loyalty, honesty, piety, civic responsibility, devotion to parents and elders, humility, among others, are embedded in Ifa. Any child who has the good fortune of being nurtured on this unadulterated teaching will be useful to himself and the community at large. The hypocritical posture of politicians on this policy must be condemned.

Our children must be allowed to understand, for instance, that Esu, the perfect trickster with a dual personality is not Satan or Lucifer, the archangel in the Christian pantheon of the gods. When our children hear names such as Esubiyi, Esugbayi or Esuronmbi, the ready connotation in their minds is the devil of the Bible or the Quran. They cannot fathom why anyone who is not insane will bear such names in the society. Beyond names, certain virtues are considered the exclusive preserve of the established religions.

Experience has, however, shown that there is a wide gulf between mere avowal and the actual deeds of those who profess piety. The very first lesson to the Ifa devotees is on contentment as against complacency. “Ohun enu ri ni enu nje, adifa fun igbin ti o je erupe la”. (The mouth is satisfied with whatever comes as food just as the snail relishes in the nutrients of the soil).

There are fables of the adventures of Orunmila or Obatala, which are also didactic. The treacherous deeds of the bush rat, Okete and Osanyin, are replete in the Ifa corpus. The consequences of unfaithful deeds are taught with the fables of these mythical characters. Temperance is a virtue of the gods and any mortal lucky enough to be endowed with this special gift will experience peace, which is beyond the understanding of man. A man’s character determines how successful he will be on earth.

The story of “Iwa” teaches us that one of the greatest gifts bequeathed by the gods to man is the ability to do what is right. I had the rare privilege of listening to Prof. Olu Longe who informed most of us who were ignorant of the invaluable contribution of the Ifa religion to the Yoruba accounting system. The basis of the computer is the Odu.

The first 8 in 2 places making 16 multiplied by 16 making 256 to infinity is the principle upon which the operation of the computer is based. Whoever insists that our children do not deserve to know this fact is not only ignorant but wicked. I enthusiastically recommend the eminent professor’s lecture, “Irapada Onka Isembaye wa ni ile Yoruba”, to those who may not know that such as the ancient Egyptian religion, the Ifa corpus contains aspects of science, mathematics, accounting, medicine and ethics. It is most unlikely that any child properly nurtured on these pristine values can ever grow to become a burden to the society.

The government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is among the very few that can be regarded as focused. All good people must come together to encourage this exceptional leader who has displayed rare administrative acumen amidst the daunting challenges faced by him since he assumed office as the governor. Other ACN governors should follow the good example of this man who has taken giant strides in ensuring real development in a state once ravaged by locusts. Odebowale, a lawyer, teaches in the Department of Classics, University of Ibadan

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  2. sunny ogbeh February 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

    This clearly confirms that our leaders do not really know why they are there. Whenever they wake up and have a brain wave they thrust this to the poor masses. In this age and times the Osun state Governor believes that religion is the key to development of the state. When the Ifa religion held sway before the arrival of other religions why was the land not developed. Why were they still living savage lives? Why were they always involved in savage tribal wars? Why didnt they have electricity? why didnt they have good drinking water? why were people dying of preventable diseases? The whys are endless. I think our leaders should just admit that they dont have any clue whatsoever to move us forward. Ogbeni Aragbesola just throw in the towel!

  3. Beam Truth February 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

    This is a verbose effort in futility.

  4. emma February 5, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Great idea! Man know thyself

  5. Ibeawuchi Nnamdi February 5, 2013 at 10:55 am

    The writer of thie pice is sick from the manner he is point writing.jst introduce ur own children to worship of ur ifa corpus or what u called it,that is not the problem of 9ja nd is nt the cause of underdevlopment.

  6. Omon Osiki February 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

    If we think Christian and Muslim leaders DON”T have the right to force their religion on “our children”, I also think the students have every right to decide on what to study in school. I agree with the writer that: “A man’s character determines how successful he will be on earth.” Our focus should be on helping them to build elements of GOOD CHARACTER and to KNOW that the “difference you find in all religions of the world is in the practice”. The students are not “subjects”, but partners in our society! As far as I am concerned, our salvation does not lie in RELIGIONS- be it Christianity, Islam or Ifa, but on being able to THINK RIGHT and to be OBJECTIVE in all our ways!

  7. Owerri February 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

    You have only promoted the use of magun, more devilish deeds in the land. This Ogbeni is demon incarnate plenipotentiary. We were made to believe that when a wicked man is on throne , his people perished but when a good man is on throne, there will be light and even development. This is the brain child of a tribal party. Religion has never developed any nation on earth rather by self discipline and fear of Almighty God to do his will at all times. Introducing occulticism as a religion to younger initiates is too dangerous to our society. Are we heading forward or backward? Can this religion give us food on our table through science and technology I put it to you Mr Ogbeni Aregbesola? Pls be wise! Last 2wks ago 5 goats was charged to court by ur govt thus ridiculing the already ridiculed judicial system in Nigeria.

  8. Tomboy February 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I think the writer of the piece should be really mad. What has Ifa got to do with the education of our children? Aregbesola should improve schools in the study of sciences and not Ifa. Developed World study deep sciences to advance in technological advancment and not Ifa. Will the study of Ifa reduce the poverty in the state? Sometimes, I do come to final assessment of all these so called leaders as morons who could not differentiate between left and right. It seems Satan has blindfolded them from knowing what is right. Aregbesola should put more funds into the Osun State University for advance sciences in bio-technology, nano-technology, medical sciences and other areas, rather than wasting state money on the study of ifa that will never add value to humanity. What a shortsighted Governor is Aregbesola?

  9. kola amodu February 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Sunny ogbeh,ibeawuchi,owerri bastard n de rest of u fools why can’t u use ur own God given brain for once in ur miserable lives. One before de arrivals of white men in our continent, it is to my believe that our forefathers speak to their creator through one method or de other. In Yoruba land our forefathers comunicate with “OLODUMARE” through “iFA”. Even though I really don’t know how nigerian jerws forefather did their comunication to there God, but one thing that is certain to me n all is that it’s not through Jesus christ. Can any of u fools tell me that those days are not better than de kind of life most of us are living now. Two, do we have to throw away our culture cos of de white people. Remember it is this same religion white people used to take away our lands n our human dignity. What I mean is this, white people used their religion to enslave us n in de process they destroyed us n our way of life. Is anything wrong if a man of vision decided to resucitate our forgotten culture, who know maybe this will allow us to redefine how we should live our lives. One of black America political thinkers once said n “if a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negiligible object in de thought of de world, henve it stand in de process of being exterminated”. Is that what we as Nigerians want for our nation?. God forbid, even if that’s what de rest of Nigerians want, I can tell u that we Yorubas do not want that. We want our children to be proud of their heritage. Don’t u know that there is joy n happiness in been called Yorubas. Look arround de four corners of Yorubas’ nation we cherry our culture irrespective of whether we are chritain or muslim, we still believe in our forefathers religion. That is de simple reason why growth n development will never stop in Yoruba land. All religion preach peace, what is important in any religion is to take what is good in all de religion put together n make use of them, that’s what we do in Yoruba land n that is de reason why religion war will never happen there. Ifa is here to stay in our schools in de south west, if however u’re not comfortable with it,it’s high time u relocate from Yoruba land afterall Nigeria is a federal state. Who know, maybe if white people had not ventured into our continent, maybe our lives will be better than what we have now. Arrival of white men brought greed, corruption, nepotism, robbery n most of de evils we all encounter daily, simply cos we all want to be somebody at all cost. It wasn’t like that before de arrival of whitemen. Perhaps it is time we rediscover ourself, maybe this we help us to advance ourself in this world, if IFA is de solution to all our problems in this country n most importantly in Yorubaland so be it. What I know for a fact is that we can not continue to go on with what we have being doing for de past 50years in this country without better result than poverty , hunger n total collapse of our heritage. In de south west, de die has cast n I can tell u de unbelievers that there is no turning back. Period n finito.

    • peter omelazu February 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Kola if those days were better than your today.It then means that you should be walking the street naked and also vacate your house immediately and relocate to the nearest cave in your village or Rabbit hole.

  10. Prince Adeyoju February 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Pls amodu, kindly change your mind. IFA has nothing to offer. The power of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only potent power to safe and deliver. Pls don’t practice idolatry and demonic things on our children.

  11. BONNY February 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    There is nothing so bad in this,the knowledge of it does not mean indulgence.U can hardly understand some african novels if u do not have some knowledge of trditions &culture of africa.Some novels like things fall apart,the gods are not to blame,arrow of GOD all have traditional african ways of life in it.Have u ever read novels by james hardly chase?

  12. Awelu February 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I watched a programme about Mali, and the freatest they value most is knowledge as passed on from generation ton generation. When Yoruba land have a traditional religion as their sole religion, tbeir kingdom was intact. States with mono religion thrives well under adversity. The same reason, North with the main mono religion will always have the power in Nigeria. Xtianity is a foregn religion and it is a flawed one, as it was not even accepted by the Jews. The Jews on the other hand are not even sure of their God. A God that will put them in slavery for 400 years. As to Islam, it is a cross between Judaism and Xtianity. Ifa to the yorubas is like a turim to the Jews as documented in the Old Testament, and similarly sethi in Islam is Ifa. To those conversant with the Alfas, it is called sand divination. Point of correction, Xtianity is not about pentecostal, methodist, catholioc of any form of xtianity,. So also, Islam is not about Ansar-u-deen, Zumratul or any other. With these in mind, Ifa is about God revealing himself to mankind and it is quite different from egungun, ogboni, oro any other things the ignoranhts might be thinking of. Before you reply foolishly, please study the history of your religion vis a vis the genuiety and assertion made by your prophets, political and economy reasons behind it, intra religious wars as witnessed by the sinis and the shites on one hand, or the protestant and catholic on the other hand. The savagery of the earliest popes. To xtian and muslim, if your holy books cannot agree of who Abraham sacrificed amongst his sons, then either the two holy books are politically written or one is a fake of the other one.

  13. favourite February 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Signs of endtimes. More are stil coming

  14. Mascort February 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Mr/Mrs Doyin Adebowale, with all due respect to your personality and profession, how much were you paid to write this deceptive piece? It is only in Nigeria where the government, the masses, the journalist, etc dwell so much on religion while relegating science and technology to the background. Our leaders make empty gestures based on false religious instincts. Adebowale, please write to Ogbeni Rauf telling him of the need to introduce well equipped technical workshops in all the schools in Osun state. Importation of educational equipment is duty-free in Nigeria. You journalists should stop deceiving the populace. We need science and technology to promote and propagate our diverse religions but not the other way round. The only thing we need in religion is faith in God which gives meaning and purpose to human life. That is all! Let us read in your next piece that Osun through indigenous companies has started manufacturing rockets, cars, mobile phones, common tri-cycle and motorbike, etc. Then, we will give your Ifa religion a second thought. Wake up Nigeria and may God save & bless us.

  15. Aminu Muhammad February 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    This is utter rubbish for Rauf Aregbesola to introduce Ifa religion to the state curriculum, I now realise he is not a muslim but an hypocrite. A true muslim nor a true christian will never compromised his religion for the sake of a traditional religion. May God helps us all.

  16. Akin February 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    To the extent that this is intended to let the children know what pertains in the yoruba land at the very beginning, i will just feel indifferent about it. But to think this will in anyway bring any development or help the state economy is absolute nonsense. My honest opinion is that this guy simply lack vision. The state has a vast and substantial fallow land that can be used for agricultural purpose. I would have expected the governor to be thinking of how to intensify the teaching of agric science in the school in the state and providing the neccessary machinery to introduce the children to mechanized farming early and also support those that one to get into it as a vacation job. This i think will be a forward thinking idea as against linking the teaching of ifa to the development in the state. I’m from Osun State and as a matter of fact my great grand father is an Ifa Priest, (as indicated in my surname which is (i)Fawale) my father had books about all this things so there is nothing new as far as i’m concerned. If for the purpose of cultural awareness among the kids i will say no problem but to think it will in anyway impact on the development of the state or affect the creative ability of the children is simply nonsensical.

  17. Awelu February 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    From comments above, most Nigerians lack reasoning ability and the sooner the education system should introduce logic and reasoning as part of their curriculum the better. If Nigeria educational system can accept Christainity and Islam then we should accept Ifa, period. Xtianity is not a religion as Christ is a Jew and remain a Jew. His religion is Judaism. It was preached to the gentiles as a way of increasing the numbers. Islam is all about trade and expansionist. That is why outcast from Oyo (Afonja) sought the help of the Fulanis. In conclusion, all foreign religions, embraced by the outcasts should be treated with caution. In England, church attendance are in decline, while alternaitive religion devouts are increasing. Omo ale, lo nfi owo osi ju iwe ile baba ee.

  18. Anthony Iloegbunam February 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    The Devil is now at Work in Osun State. What is the comment of Daddy G O of RCCG who also is from Osun State over this Piece. Osun is now the Devil State.

  19. Simeon February 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Mr classic teacher, wake up & do something wit ur life. If Naija is not such a lousy country, how will u be sustained teaching classics. 2day geology is no longer taught in britain b/c they hav no minerals but here our universities are full of parasites who contrib ute nothin practical to dev. I wish u well wit ur retrogresive clasical ifa.

  20. Topsy Ony February 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Rauf, who calls himself a Muslim should be ashamed of himself. The Deputy, who is supposed to be a Christian should also resign, if anyone tries to go ahead with this Satanic venture. Ifa cannot be placed on the same pedestal with Christianity or Islam. Ifa is direct demon worship, pure and straightforward. This must be a decision taken in their Iledi Ogboni, to recruit young souls into demon worship. Unlike the other world religions, Ifa study will not just be an intellectual exercise. The moment a child or a person is involved, demons take over his or soul, & only very few will ever be delivered.

    This is a very strategic, well planned ploy to initiate innocent children into the occult. They are very desperate about it, which explains the very long theses written by the protagonists here. I’m also surprised that comments of most Christians here are quite weak & dry, perhaps because most people don’t know how serious this is, and what it’s all about. It is spiritual warfare against the souls of the children. It must stop now.

  21. kola amodu February 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Awelu Olodumare will surely bless u . Let these fools continue to decive themselves. Most of our problems today is created through this religions. Do u guys really know how many of ur so call pastors are inside prison either for church fraud or rape. Yes ur pastors. Some even become king pin for armed robbers . Now adays, our pastors has stopped riding in cars, what they like than anything in this life is to own a jet n live in an expensive hses while their followers live miserable lives. Even de white men that brought de religion into our continent, how man of their citizens attend churches regularly. I can tell u fools that about 60 to 70 percent of white people don’t even go to church, they hardly believe there is any God at all. Most Nigerians go to church n mosque but what is de end result of our being religiuos. I said it before n I will say it again, I see nothing wrong in experimenting with “IFA” . Afterall nobody is forcing anybody to practice it, it is by choice.

  22. Lotima February 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    What is wrong in learning about the old religion? All the so called Christian and Muslim still patronize Ifa secretly. Twenty five years ago, a colleague of mine who is Ibo, said. foreign religion is the 2nd slavery, he said the white men brought their religion to us and said “keep on praying, we shall take all your wealth away from you” They took all our artifact to their country and display it in their museum. I studied in America University where I had the opportunity to study “World Religion” as part of the curriculum, which gave me the opportunity to learn about other religion. If “world Religion is introduced in Nigerian schools, the issue of fanatism, (Christian and Muslim) would be a thing of the past.

  23. Topsy Ony February 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I don’t need to call Mr Amodu a fool to respond to his position. Only the spirit of Ifa will encourage one to insult another before one makes his point. The Holy Spirit does not allow us to use abusive language, when one disagrees with your views.

    The Bible has already predicted that perilous times shall come in the end time, that there will be false Christ, false prophets, and that because iniquity will abound, the love of many will wax cold. Jesus also said that the road that leads to heaven is narrow & that only few will find it. That explains the falling away of some Christians & ministers of the gospel today. But there are hundreds of thousands that still remain faithful, and that continually experience the liberating power of the gospel of Christ today.

    The whites will not follow your Ifa, as they are generally turning away from religion (not all of them though). They are turning away from religion because they are deceived to think that science, technology, logic, and materialism will explain everything. Yes, they may prosper financially, but they will destroy themselves if they keep on rejecting God, as the events in their society currently shows on a daily basis. Though they brought Christianity, God & Christ do not belong to them exclusively. Jesus is so infinitely big that Europe & America are too tiny to contain Him. He is for the whole world.

    We are not opposed to our culture at all. We all know that Yoruba has a rich culture in respect of language, dress, proverbs, folk songs, greetings, music and ethics. We have not and cannot throw away these rich cultural heritage because of Christianity. They do not contradict each other.

    Our position here is that Ifa worship is an occultic, demonic, spiritual part of our religion which goes beyond the realm of culture, and which should not be introduced to our children. All they need to know about our culture is already being taught in the Yoruba language as a subject. All protangonists of the introduction of Ifa to innocent school children know in their hearts that they have a hidden spiritual agenda that goes beyond the realm of culture. But they cannot come straight. They know the kind of spirit that is pushing them to this spiritually destructive project. It is not culture at all.

  24. HERO February 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Kola Amodu is retrogressive and crude in his comments.He should be ignored.

  25. OmoAbode February 6, 2013 at 1:04 am

    If the majority of comments on this piece represents the attitude of Nigerians to their own religious heritage, cultural capital as it were, then there is trouble in paradise. It means that colonialism, neo-colonialism and the continued domestic oppression of nigerians have combined to do a psychological job on our people. Nigerians now seem to be on the path of ideological and political suicide. They have thoroughly imbibed the objectives of their enemies and make them their own. What if the semites among whom christianity and islam developed had these attitudes, clearly these spiritual practices would have perished and probably the people with them. Nigerians must be saved from this suicidal path. Bravo, Ogbeni Aregbesola. Let Osun State University gets to work to develop a fitting curriculum for the study of Ifa. Ignorant as Nigerians have become, little do they know that Ifa has been placed on United Nation’s world heritage list. Little do they know that a professor at Boston University teaches Ifa on Twitter. He called Ifa “the forgotten world religion.” Osun State government should not stop here. Funds should be allocated for the continued research and recovery of the lost Ifa knowledge. As far as I am concerned, Ifa is the embodiment of Yoruba philosophical worldview and the repository of all Yoruba knowledge from anatomy to zoology, and physics, chemistry, and everything scientific in Yoruba including cybernetics. Let the negative commentators explain how Ifa arrived at its 256 volumes making the Ifa corpus and why each volume has unlimited chapters. I am amazed at the ignorance exuding from their moribund brains.

  26. kola amodu February 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Toposy ony, it is irellivant what u call me as far as am concern what I believe is that, religion is by choice. If what Mr. Aregbesola is trying to do in Osun state is not part of what u believe u can. Relocate to wherever u want afterall this is a free country. I keep asking my self why is that an average African feel inferior when it comes to their own African value. Like I said above, de die as cast no turning back in Osun state. We shall advance de study of our fore fathers religions that will allow our children to know who they are. We want our children to know about, “Sango,Obatala(Orisanla), Ogun, Esu,Ifa,Agbonmiregun n so many others Yorubas heritage. U go to places like Brazil, Benin republic, Togo even in America u will see how people practise this above mention Yoruba religions. De point is this, nobody should attack Mr. Aregbe for trying to make a different. Under no condition should we allow christainity or Islam to erradicate our heritage n that’s a fact. Poronto. Only in Africa do we over value other people things at de expence of our own things.

  27. Topsy Ony February 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    If you have decided to worship Esu, Obatala, Yemoja etc, keep these away from the schools. Limit them to your shrines and covens. Our children should be kept away from Esu and these other forces of darkness.

    We will continue to cherish the positive aspects of our culture, while we will continue to glorify God for setting us free from the dark, demonic aspects of Yoruba culture, to which some occult forces want to initiate our children, through the back door.

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