OAU VC: Traditionalists disown protesters, want ‘impostors’ fished out


 

The Traditional Religion Worshippers Association (TRAWSO), Osun State, has dissociated itself from the protest embarked upon by traditional religious worshippers and indigenes of Ile-Ife on Monday, March 21, 2022, over the appointment of Professor Isaac Bamise as the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

In a press statement jointly made available by Dr. Oluseyi Atanda and Ifasola Onifade, its President and Secretary, respectively, TRAWSO which is the umbrella body of all the adherents of the traditional religion in the State, also called on security agencies to investigate and uncover those that dressed like traditionalists and invaded OAU campus.

While describing the invasion as uncalled for, TRAWSO, which maintained that none of its members in Ile-Ife were involved in the protest, added that the activities of those involved were self-serving and shameful.

Reiterating that the worrisome aspect of the protest was the fact that the protesters tended to portray TRAWSO in a bad light as fetish and uncivilised, TRAWSO added that those that were involved should be prosecuted.

TRAWSO explained that while it recognises the inalienable right of aggrieved individuals and groups to protest any perceived injustice, it still considered it strange that sacred costumes, paraphernalia and other items synonymous with traditionalists were adorned by the protesters.

It revealed that after thorough checks, it was discovered that the protesters were neither members of TRAWSO in the Ile-Ife branch, and neither do they belong to other branches around its surrounding communities.

“As respected members of traditional institution, we were not involved in the running of the affairs of OAU and we were not involved in the processes that led to the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor for the University, hence, we have no justifiable reason to protest the appointment of the VC of the Institution, a Federal University for that matter.

“We call on security agencies to investigate and uncover those that dressed like traditionalists and invaded OAU and prosecute those that are found wanting.

“Our members were not involved in the protest. The activities of those involved are self-serving and shameful. The worrisome aspect is the fact that the protesters tended to portray us in bad light as fetish and uncivilised and we warn against the use of our items by people that are not known to us.

“We want to place it on record that our members did not participate in such despicable acts and we dissociate ourselves from the protest and describe it as inexplicable to use anything belonging to us, when in the real sense of it, the cause of the protest has nothing to do with us.

“We believe in fairness and we oppose cutting corners. We did not participate in the protest within the Campus of OAU and we are not in any way displeased with the management of the University regarding the running of the Institution.”

The statement, which cautioned the protesters that TRAWSO members in the State will not take kindly, hinted that a repeat of such may attract stronger reaction, or even litigation in order to protect the integrity of the association.

“We also advise whoever wants to express displeasure through protest to take proper channel and desist from conducts capable of destroying the integrity and honour of others,” it concluded.

Also, the Traditional Religion Students’ Association of Nigeria (TRESAN), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Chapter has also condemned the protest by the town’s indigenes.

In a jointly signed statement by Ifalola Ifabukola Ojo, its President and Shefiu Adekunle Awoyemi, its Secretary, it described the protest as a prolonged show of shame and called on the security agencies to round up the miscreants who are operating under the guise of Isese.

While dissociating the group from the activities of the protesters, the students’ association noted that such actions were clearly against what Isese represented in its entirety.

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