Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration in Lagos State has approved Monday, August 21, a public holiday in commemoration of the 2023 Isese Day celebration.
The Isese traditional celebration falls on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
SaharaReporters reported on Friday that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, also approved August 20 as a public holiday to mark and celebrate traditional religion in the state.
Following suit, Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a circular, issued on Friday, which was signed by the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said the declaration of Monday as a work-free day for public servants was “with a view to promoting our indigenous culture and tradition while preserving our heritage.”
The circular reads: “In restating its commitment to continue to provide the necessary support to traditional institutions in the state with a view to promoting our indigenous culture and tradition while preserving our heritage, Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has graciously declared Monday, 21st August 2023, a work-free day for public servants in the state.
“Work will, therefore, resume on Tuesday, 22nd August at 8 am prompt.”
Like the Traditional Religion Worshippers’ Association in Oyo State (TRWASSO) in 2019 appealed to Governor Makinde to declare August 20 of every year as a public holiday for them to celebrate, the Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs in July made a similar appeal to the Lagos Government to officially recognise and declare August 20 as Isese Day holiday in the state.
Meanwhile, in Kwara State, there is controversy over how Isese Day would be celebrated this year as Muslim groups and the state police command have warned Ifa worshippers not to organise any public event.
The groups and the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, claim it is idolatry and that the city is for Islamic religion.