By Ismaeel Uthman
In his continuous campaign for the advancement of Yoruba culture and tradition, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, has made case for the modernization of idols in Yorubaland to attract tourists and those who are interested in investing in tourism.
Oluwo charged traditionalists in Nigeria to convert their idols to tourist attractions in conformity with modern reality to boost the country’s economy.
He at his palace in Iwo at the weekend while receiving members of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association Osun (TRWASO), according to a press statement issued by his Media Aide, Mr Ibraheem Alli.
According to the traditional ruler, the present state of idols and tourist centres were not attractive, saying, there is need for aggressive modernization of the idols.
Oluwo attributed the scanty populace of traditionalists to non promotion of their belief to modern taste, urging them to repackage their shrines to modern standard devoid of dirtiness.
The traditional ruler maintained that Yoruba culture is an asset to the country’s economy, even as he lamented non appreciation of its value by custodians of the said culture.
He condemned the harshness associated with traditional deities as discouraging, imploring traditionalists to revoke the stringency spiritually attached to their belief.
Oluwo urged the traditionalists to support his programme tagged “Invading the Invaders” targeting at promoting western dresses made from local fabrics (Ofi) to be called Telu Jeans.
Oba Akanbi explained that the ofi would be used to make western dress of all kinds, like school uniforms, bags, etc, affirming that “such would lure Nigerians to appreciate our culture and promote our economy”.
He disclosed that his partnership with Bank of Industry (BOI) was at the top gear for external materialization of Telu Jeans, saying, he would not relent in promoting Yoruba culture and accessories.
The Oluwo further advised traditionalists to turn the idols to tourist attractions of festivity with gate fee to boost the nation`s income and modernize it to attract prospective attendants.
Oba Akanbi said: “The idols and deities must turn to tourist centres if our culture will appreciate. The traditional sacred places need the attention of her believers, but I will suggest the renovation/modernization of the shrines to attract people`s attention. Otherwise, no children will mingle nor visit a dirty shrine again. If properly position, those items can be turned to festivity.”
Oluwo recalled that the knowledge of Ifa in the olden days was commendable, saying it played vital roles in showing productive direction to confused issues, but condemned in totality those worshipping Ifa as God, saying only novice would claim idols are bigger than monarch.