Olusegun Daramola, an author and babaláwo has voiced his support for the institution of Ìsẹ̀ṣe law at the state level of government in the South West region of Nigeria. Ìsẹ̀ṣe, the traditional religious practices of the Yorùbá people, holds immense cultural significance and represents an integral part of our heritage.
Mr. Daramola questions the disparity in the application of religious laws within the country. While Sharia law has been established in twelve states with a Muslim-majority population since 1999, the Governors of the South West region have yet to actively pursue the implementation of Isese law. As an advocate for cultural preservation and religious diversity, Olusegun Daramola calls for a “declaration of full Ìsẹ̀ṣe law” to be made in all South West states.
He said, “The proposed declaration would not only provide official recognition to Ìsẹ̀ṣe as a distinct legal system but also pave the way for the creation of Ìsẹ̀ṣe legal institutions. Among these would be the establishment of the Ìsẹ̀ṣe Commission, a governing body entrusted with overseeing the implementation and regulation of Ìsẹ̀ṣe law. This commission would work collaboratively with existing legal institutions to ensure a seamless integration of Ìsẹ̀ṣe law into the state’s legal framework.
“Furthermore, the creation of the Ìsẹ̀ṣe Religion, a group dedicated to promoting Isese virtues while discouraging illicit acts within traditional belief systems, is crucial in preserving the ethical standards and fostering communal harmony within our society. By upholding values such as respect, integrity, and unity, the Ìsẹ̀ṣe Religion aims to contribute to the overall well-being and social cohesion of the South West communities.”
Olusegun Daramola is urging for a constitutional amendment that recognizes Ìsẹ̀ṣe courts under Customary laws. Additionally, he advocates for the development of legal and penal codes specific to Èṣù Láàlu & Ogun Làákàyè Ọ̀SÌN-IMỌLẸ̀ within the Ìsẹ̀ṣe legal framework.
“These amendments would solidify the recognition and enforcement of Ìsẹ̀ṣe practices, ensuring that the Yorùbá people can freely exercise their rights to practice their traditional beliefs without any hindrance or marginalization.
“Recognizing Ìsẹ̀ṣe law would be a significant milestone for the Yorùbá community, preserving our cultural heritage and upholding the principles of religious freedom and cultural diversity. It would grant official recognition and legitimacy to the ancient practices that have shaped our identity for centuries.”
He called on the Governors of the South West region to embrace this opportunity to safeguard the cultural legacy and ensure that Ìsẹ̀ṣe law takes its rightful place alongside other recognized legal systems. “With unity and collective efforts, we can establish a just and inclusive society that respects and protects the traditions and beliefs of all its citizens.
“Fortuitously, the International Council for Ifá Religion (ICIR), under the leadership of Dr. (Oluwo) Solagbade Popoola, is poised to collaborate with representatives from various Isese Associations and work closely with state governments in the South West region to facilitate the realization of this endeavor. “This alliance of knowledgeable individuals and esteemed organizations is committed to contributing their expertise and support to bring about the establishment of Isese law and its accompanying legal institutions.
“The Yorùbá people have a long-standing tradition of embracing laws that promote harmony and justice, which have proven effective for countless generations. Renowned for our law-abiding nature, the Yorùbá people possess a deep sense of respect for the rule of law. The implementation of Isese law and the establishment of dedicated Isese courts would not only serve to protect and uphold the rights and customs of the Yorùbá people within Yorùbáland but also extend its reach to Yorùbá communities in the diaspora. Given our significant population, we are poised to successfully undertake this crucial initiative.
“The collaboration between the International Council for Ifá Religion (ICIR), prominent representatives from various Isese Associations, and the state governments in the South West region holds great promise. “By combining efforts, expertise, and resources, this collective endeavor seeks to preserve and promote the cherished cultural heritage and religious practices of the Yorùbá people. Furthermore, the establishment of Isese law and its accompanying legal institutions would ensure the continued protection and support of Yorùbá traditions both within Nigeria and beyond its borders.
“The International Council for Ifá Religion (ICIR) and its collaborators are fully committed to working in close partnership with state governments, utilizing their extensive knowledge and experience in Isese practices. Through comprehensive consultations, collaborative decision-making processes, and legal expertise, the objective is to develop a robust legal framework that aligns with the needs and aspirations of the Yorùbá people. By drawing on the wisdom of our cultural heritage and engaging in productive dialogue, this initiative strives to create an inclusive and just legal system that upholds the values and traditions of the Yorùbá community.
“The potential benefits of establishing Isese law and its associated institutions are manifold. First and foremost, it will provide official recognition and protection for the traditional religious practices of the Yorùbá people, safeguarding our cultural heritage and fostering a deep sense of identity and belonging. “Additionally, the implementation of Isese law will ensure that Yorùbá individuals, both within Nigeria and in the diaspora, can freely exercise their religious rights and practices without fear of marginalization or discrimination.
“Moreover, the establishment of Isese courts will serve to resolve legal disputes and conflicts within the Yorùbá community in a manner that is consistent with our customs, traditions, and values. This will enhance access to justice and provide a forum for the fair and equitable resolution of disputes, promoting social harmony and cohesion.
“Inquiries have arisen regarding the selection of a sacred text, similar to the Bible or the Quran, for the practice of Ifá. There is no need for concern, as the International Council for Ifá Religion (ICIR) is diligently undertaking the task of creating an Ifá Book that will serve as a valuable resource for practitioners.
“Recognizing the significance of a comprehensive and authoritative text, the ICIR has embarked on the development of an Ifá Book that will provide guidance, knowledge, and spiritual insights. This endeavor is driven by the desire to preserve and disseminate the sacred teachings and wisdom of Ifá, ensuring its accessibility to practitioners, scholars, and the wider community.
“The creation of an Ifá Book by the ICIR signifies a significant milestone in the preservation and promotion of Ifá religion and its associated practices. By meticulously compiling the vast body of knowledge, rituals, divination systems, and ethical principles that comprise Ifá, the ICIR aims to provide a comprehensive reference for adherents and those seeking to deepen their understanding of Ifá spirituality.
“The Ifá Book being developed by the ICIR will be meticulously researched and compiled by a team of esteemed scholars, practitioners, and experts in the field of Ifá. It will encompass the diverse facets of Ifá, including its oral tradition, divination techniques, mythology, cosmology, ethical teachings, and historical context. By capturing the essence of Ifá in a comprehensive written form, the ICIR endeavors to facilitate a deeper appreciation and engagement with the profound teachings and traditions of Ifá.
“The availability of an Ifá Book will provide practitioners with a valuable resource for study, reflection, and guidance in their spiritual journeys. It will serve as a point of reference for rituals, prayers, and invocations, enabling practitioners to navigate the intricacies of Ifá practice with authenticity and reverence. “Additionally, the Ifá Book will contribute to the scholarly discourse surrounding Ifá, promoting academic research, and fostering a greater understanding of its cultural and spiritual significance.
“The ICIR’s commitment to creating an Ifá Book reflects its dedication to the preservation and advancement of Ifá religion in the modern era. This initiative signifies the recognition of the importance of written documentation in complementing and strengthening the oral traditions that have been passed down through generations. With the Ifá Book, the ICIR aims to bridge the gap between past and present, ensuring the timeless wisdom of Ifá is preserved and transmitted to future generations.”