Traditional Worshippers Also Deserve Public Holidays — Falana SAN - Global Quest Magazine


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Traditional Worshippers Also Deserve Public Holidays — Falana SAN

By Balogun Ajoke

Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, has said traditional worshippers across the country also deserve to have public holidays. He noted that they were covered by the constitution like other religions practised in Nigeria.

He disclosed this on Saturday during the orientation and inauguration of traditional worshipers, under the aegis of ‘Ijo Babalawo Onifa of Egbaland’, held at the Valley View Government House in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Falana explained that under the Nigerian constitution, particularly section 38, there is freedom of religion of conscience.

He noted, “You have the right to worship God or not to worship God at all. You have the right to be a Christian, a Muslim or a traditionalist. But whatever you do, you must respect the rights of other citizens in the country.

“By virtue of Section 10 of the constitution, the government shall not adopt any religion as official religion. So, the government is required to be neutral while recognising the rights of each individual to worship the God they believe in. You are also entitled to public holidays just like those influenced by the Christians and Muslims.”

He, however, cautioned the traditionalists to instill respect by distancing themselves from criminal elements.

He added, “I have made it clear to the members of this organisation that as a lawyer, our experience is that when armed robbery suspects are arrested, they claim that they have been fortified by some Babalawo.
“When you arrest a ritual murder suspect, he also claims he has a Babalawo behind him. Ditto for armed robbers and other criminal elements in the society. I am, therefore, challenging the members of this organisation to as much as possible distance themselves from such criminal elements. That is the only way to be respected by the society and the government.

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