Lawyer rues alleged violation of religious rights in Kwara
Human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo, has flayed Kwara State police for not making effort to protect members of International Council of Ifa/Orisa Religion (ICIR) from threats of attack, stating that it is a violation of their fundamental human rights.
Members of ICIR planned to celebrate World Isese Day in Ilorin, on August 20, 2023, at the bank of River Yemoja, Oko Olowo expressway and consequently sent a notification to the Commissioner of Police (CP), Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, seeking security and logistics support.
But Muslims in Ilorin threatened to attack them and disrupt the programme, arguing that llorin is an emirate and that Isese, which it described as idolatry, cannot be allowed in Ilorin; rather, it should be taken elsewhere.
As a result, the CP invited members of ICIR for a meeting on Monday in his office, scolded them and described them as “idle people” for wanting to celebrate Isese in the state.
“Without mincing words, she threatened and warned them not to go on because some people have concluded plans to attack them, killing and maiming them and members of their families,” the lawyer stated.
Lamenting the attitude of the police, Omirhobo described it as irresponsible, dereliction of duty, abuse of power and bundle of falsehood.
He added that the police were violating the fundamental rights of ICIRmembers to the dignity of their person, their freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, association and movement as enshrined and guaranteed to them by Sections 34(1)(a), 38(1), 39(1) 40(1),41(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
“Christians in Ilorin are allowed to celebrate their Christmas without any disturbance. Muslims celebrate Sallah without any disturbance. But when it comes to the turn of African traditional religion, Ifa/Orisa devotees and adherents to celebrate Isese, they are now coerced, threatened, harassed, intimidated, embarrassed, repressed and not allowed by the very police that supposed to protect them,” he lamented.
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