Adegbola Abdulazeez, renowned as Talọlọrun (Who is God), a prominent Ilorin Isese devotee and activist, has been detained in custody in Kwara State due to allegations of defamation.
Talọlọrun, is said to have been arrested for several offenses, including allegedly insulting the Emir of Ilorin. This suggests that his arrest is related to accusations of making disrespectful or offensive statements directed at the Emir.
As per a post shared on his Facebook page, Talọlọrun, was reportedly arrested on August 16 in Ibadan. He was then transported to a police station located in Ilorin, indicating the sequence of events and locations surrounding his arrest.
“Taniolorun was arrested in Ibadan this evening (August 16) and taken to a police station in Ilorin,” the post simply read.
On August 17, a different post revealed that the activist had been taken to court and appealed for assistance from fellow Isese practitioners.
The post read: “All Isese practitioners, meet activist in court in Ilorin. Very urgent.”
A Youtube video released Thursday, also showed Taniolorun discussing the outcome of a prior meeting between Isese practitioners, their lawyer and the police on the ban placed on Isese festivals in Ilorin.
“To those who said we would not celebrate the Isese festival in Ilorin…have you all been served breakfast now?
“We (Isese devotees) went with our lawyer to the police station in Ilorin and everyone involved in this case was served, including the Emir of Ilorin.
“Isese devotees are peace-loving people, we are not troublemakers, we simply wanted to celebrate our festivals but were stopped and asked to seek permission. When Muslims want to celebrate Sallah, do they need permission to do this as well? Why demand that from Isese worshippers?
“The commissioner of police, who said we do not have permission to celebrate our festivals in Ilorin, has also been served court papers, he should come out and explain where this was stated in the constitution of Nigeria.
“Despite offering to change the location of our festival from the Yemoja river in the state to another, we were still denied this. Is the police not suppose to support and protect us? Now, the commissioner of police, the Emir of Ilorin, and everyone closely involved in this case have been served court papers.”
Talọlọrun proceeded to boast that the event would take place regardless of the challenges posed by various sources.
“The proposed August 20th Isese day will hold even though these emirs have connived with the police to stop the celebration. I received so many threats from online bullies unbeknownst to me, these alfas were conniving with the police to ensure the festival never holds,” he alleged.
“You see at this point, those advocating for Isese devotees to stay away from Ilorin, need to stop. Is there another law besides the Nigerian constitution? We all have the right to worship.
“At this point in this land of Ilorin, called the Emirate, the Isese worshippers will have the right to worship as well. Why is it so hard for the alfas to preach peace and allow everyone to celebrate how they wish? Shouldn’t we all be preaching and seeking for peace to reign in the same state we all love?” Talolorun asked.
Previously, the International Council of Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants had urged traditional religious worshippers and Orisa adherents in Kwara State to participate alongside fellow practitioners across the nation in observing Isese Day on August 20th.
The council, in a statement on Thursday, stressed that
“Genuine Orisa adherents have a responsibility to their religion to celebrate Isese Day and the Kwara State branch members must not fail on August 20, 2023 to observe the day.”
Despite this, the statement advised that, considering the current situation in Kwara State, followers of Orisa should celebrate Isese Day within their homes instead of assembling in public spaces, all while ensuring no disturbance of public order.
The President of ARSADIC, Aare Ifagbenusola Atanda, conveyed this guidance through a statement issued on Thursday.
Atanda, who is the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye maintained that reports that the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, banned the Isese Day in the state could not be true.
“It should be understood that nobody, including the Kwara State police boss, Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi, has the right to ban celebration of any traditional day. We know for sure that no one can deny any Nigerian the right to practise or celebrate according to the tenets of his or her religion.
“Inasmuch as we stay within our boundaries, we deserve due respect to observe our festivals just like the Muslims celebrate Hijirah and Eid-el-Fitri and the Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter,” he opined
Atanda went on to advise;
“Those planning to bring or mobilise people to Kwara State in the name of celebrating Isese Day is that they should not do so. We agree with the Kwara State police authorities that people should not converge on the state to celebrate any day for now.
“We are peace-loving people but we deserve respect for our faith. Isese Day can be celebrated in adherents’ homes, private religious family gatherings and gardens as may be convenient and conducive in the interest of peace, harmony and tranquility in the land.”
Atanda pointed out that traditionally, Isese Day celebrations are typically conducted individually in various states, local government areas, and family residences, “as established by our forefathers.”
It should be noted that Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, in an open letter, expressed criticism toward the Emir of Ilorin, Sulu Gambari, for his reported decision to prohibit the Isese festival, a Yoruba cultural event, from taking place in the capital of Kwara State.
Despite the involvement of various parties, the standoff between the Isese worshippers and the authorities continues to endure.
A video by an admin on Talolrun’s page Friday confirmed Talolrun’s arrest assuring supporters that the popular Isese advocate will regain his freedom.
“Yoruba people celebrating the arrest of Talolorun, did you believe he would not be eventually arrested?
“They have been trying to arrest him for a long time so his arrest did not come as a surprise to us.
“He can not be killed because he did not kill anyone. He will be free. He did not rape anyone, he was only sharing his thoughts on the situation of things
“Arresting Talolorun does not mean the world will end. We are fighting for our ancestors. We are fighting for our culture and tradition not to go into extinction.
“The economy of Nigeria has continued to dwindle yet none of you is fighting to save the country but when it comes to Isese worship, everyone suddenly has a voice,” the admin wrote.