Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has cautioned people to stop misrepresenting the importance of festivals and deities celebrated in the ancient city of Ile-Ife and all parts of Africa.
Speaking at the 2016 celebration of Oranfe the god of fire in Ile Ife, Osun state yesterday Oct. 26th, the Ooni said that some of the deities being worshiped in Africa have their roots in holy books like the Bible and Quran.
He lamented that many people failed to promote the positive aspects of the yoruba and African festivals due to slavish mentality and over-Westernization. According to him, no human being can survive without what the dieties represent.
"Our people really need to be enlightened. A lot of these festivals have been misconstrued, misrepresented and demonized as if we are idol worshippers. We are not idol worshippers. We are rather believers in nature. I am not saying the commandments of God should not be adhered to, but we must know that all these dieties are messengers of God. They represent nature. Nothing can be done without nature regardless of our religion be it Islam or Christianity or even traditional. We only honour nature because we are all integra part of it, and not worship idols. Some of the dieties we worship have roots in the holy books. We are also following the instructions of God needed for the sustenance of mankind as everybody, including powerful leaders rely on nature to survive." Ooni Ogunwusi said
He faulted the influence of westernization on the cultural belief of Africans, adding that it is a major factor responsible for the increasing poverty facing the immeasurably blessed continent.
"Those who keep sensitising people against us that we are worshipping idols are not kind to history. I am proud to be associated with nature. Ife has 201 out the 401 dieties and they are all relevant. These deities are divine messengers of God sent for different purposes. One of them is ORANFE the god of fire being celebrated here today. It is a pity that all powers in the possession of blackmen are being used for battles and power tussles. It is from this unique powers that the west sourced technology and development from and they are now using it against us. We will continue to experience poverty all over the place if we don't celebrate the good side of our culture. Some of these dieties also show the mysteries of God. God wouldn't have made mistake in the creation of the dieties. They are representatives of sciences being taught in schools. It is very sad that the western world has messed up our psyche and inflicted slavish mentality on us making us to believe we are idol worshippers as our pitiable neglect of our own culture and traditions a major factor responsible for the poverty in the land. We left the positive sides and allow the west to implant the negative side in our brain."