The Association of African Traditional Religion Nigeria (AATREN) has called on Federal and state governments to declare August 20 as a public holiday for the traditionalists.
This call was made yesterday during a prayer for the actualisation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential ambition in Lagos.
AATREN President Chief Ifashegun Elegushi said it will be just for the government to accord traditionalists the privilege accorded the Muslims and Christians.
“We choose to make our demand known to the government on this occasion of our prayers for Asiwaju Tinubu because we believe he commands respect in the government circle. Our demand was borne out of seeking justice for the traditional institution. We want the government to declare August 20 of every day a public holiday for the traditional religion,” Chief Elegushi said.
According to him, Tinubu is the right person to lead the country due to his vast experience.
“We are with him in this race because we believe in his ability to govern the country well and ensure that we get our Traditional Day public holiday,” he said.
The First Vice President of AATREN, Chief Dr Folusho Adeogun Oga said Traditional religion is as old as human beings, hence the need to accord its adherents their rights.
Asiwaju Tinubu, she said, will elevate the institution as done by Rauf Aregbesola during his tenure as the Governor of Osun state.
“We gathered to beseech the oracle on Asiwaju Tinubu’s presidential ambition. We pray that no evil should befall him and everything he lays his hands on will prosper. We are going to make sacrifices to all gods to guide him,” she said.
AATREN’s General Secretary Chief Awodiran Okanlawon Agboola said the significance of the gathering was to show the world that the traditional religious practitioners also contribute to the development of Lagos state and Nigeria.
“Government should accord us our rights for us to contribute our quota to the development of the country. Tinubu is somebody that we have known and he has performed wonderfully when he was the governor of Lagos state. He has contributed a lot to this country and is a benefactor of so many people,” Agboola said.
Legal Adviser of AATREN Mrs Omotayo Adepeju believed that Tinubu will treat every Nigerian equally once he becomes the President.
“We are praying for his success. If Muslims and Christians are given public holidays, such gestures should be extended to traditionalists. It is important and we will be using our Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) to demand for it,” Adepeju said. (Nation)