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The cries and prayers for the release of female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok abducted by members of the Boko Haram terrorists group, yesterday came from unlikely quarters as adherents of Ifa religion from across Nigeria converged on Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, where they offered special prayers for the release of the girls.
For over five hours, the leaders of the religion invoke chants in the form of incantations as they made several supplication to the god of divinity for the release and safe return of the seized girls.
To them, the two other famous religions had boxed Nigeria into a luckless corner of confusion, violence, chaos and anomie, hence the resolve of practitioners of African religion and spirituality to step in and halt the rot and restore spiritual sanity into a nation that only a few decades ago, held the hope for Africa and the black race.
With over 500 of its members in attendance at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Press Centre, Ibadan, where the session was held, the over 500 Ifa worshippers were unanimous that the girls would be released sooner than expected.
Among the leaders was the famous Araba of Osogbo, Ifayemi Elebubon, who prayed for peace and unity of the country as well as for the successful release of the girls.
In his address, the President, International Council for Ifa religion, Idowu Odeyemi, condemned the abduction of the innocent girls.
According to Odeyemi, a professor, abducting the innocent girls under the guise of a religious dogma was condemnable, just as he said spreading of terror and fear among the populace was an archaic way of spreading religion.
He also condemned the barbaric actions of the Boko Haram sect in some parts of Nigeria.
"Killing and maiming of fellow Nigerians under the guise of religion is clearly deplorable and unacceptable," he added
While praying for the repose of the souls of thousands of Nigerians whose lives had been truncated by the unnecessary violence, Odeyemi said the Ifa religion will continue to pray against kidnappings, armed robbery, corruption and other vices that have taken over the country.
Nigeria, he said had been and is a multi-religion society in which all adherents should practice their faiths in peace and harmony "even as they make their modest contributions to the development of the nation."
He added: "Now that the two other religions have boxed Nigeria into a luckless corner of confusion, violence, chaos and anomie, practitioners of African Religion and Spirituality have now stepped in to halt the rot and restore spiritual sanity into a nation that only a few decades ago, held the only hope for Africa and the black race.