The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111 on Friday warned priests of Ifa traditional religion against desperation for ill-gotten wealth capable of bringing the cherished Yoruba culture and traditions into disrepute before foreigners.
Oba Adeyemi gave the warning in his palace when he received three Cubans who had been initiated as Ifa priests.
He said dissemination of truth about Ifa mythology and other traditional religions to foreigners was necessary in order to ensure that the legacies of Yoruba forefathers were not bastardised and desecrated.
The newly initiated Ifa priests include, Jase Lara, Dasiel Guerra and Fernauco Garrico who were led to the palace by an Oyo-based senior Ifa priest, Ifaniyi Omoyemi, the Ajitena Awo of Alaafin.
The monarch cautioned that the porous and fraudulent awards of chieftaincy titles, especially to foreigners, by some Oyo Ifa priests must stop, adding that only Irokin and white caps must be used in their installation, rather than the crown and staff of office used by priests.
He said ‘’No matter the mastery of Ifa traditional religion and proficiency of its practice and mythology, no practitioner has the right to confer on anyone the title of Ifa king and presents such person with staff of office.
As an Ifa priest, you are to interpret the oracle and not to confer chieftaincy titles. It is illegal and unconstitutional”.
Alaafin expressed dismay over disregard to the due process of Oyo traditions before the installation of foreigners as Ifa priests by some disgruntled adherents of the traditional religion.
He said “The Yoruba traditional beliefs see the world as a product of two connected worlds; the visible world of material life and the invisible spiritual world.
The connection of these two worlds produces power that is called Ase in Yoruba cosmology’’.
For the Yoruba, Alaafin stressed that the Creator rules over the entire universe manifesting the elements of nature, adding that these indigenous beliefs and practices were a life of philosophy and natural science.
He added that ‘’Oyo metropolis not only remains centre-piece of Yoruba nations world-wide, but Mecca and Vatican of the richest culture and traditions in the universe.
“All traditional religions, including the Ifa, are registered under one umbrella called Asa Orisa. All the religions under the authority of the Alaafin are independent of one and another and co-exist harmoniously.
The same is applicable to both the Islamic and Christian religions. This is the reason why there can never be any religious upheavals in the metropolis.
There is no way anyone or group from this association can operate in isolation and disregard to the due process and succeed in their motive. They cannot go away with it.
‘’Our traditional religions are part of our heritage, which needs to be jealously preserved from bastardisation for pot of porridge.’’
Oba Adeyemi expressed delight that in spite of the assaults and attacks by Western powers in the past, Yoruba culture and traditions had demonstrated its resilience and beyond that relevance in a troubled and confused world.
Dasiel Guerra who spoke on behalf of his colleagues noted that they were in the palace in acknowledgement of Oyo as bulwark of Yoruba culture and traditions, and the Alaafin as the custodian.
Guerra added that they were also in the palace to intimate the royal father of a Yoruba cultural organization established about thirty years ago and to seek for his support and guide.