Olori Gbemisola Ariwajoye is a first class female traditionalist in Lagos State. She is the Iyalode Egbe Agbaye and Head, Ogboni Alale of Lagos State. She combines bravery and eloquence during this interview. Excerpts:
How did you find yourself in traditional practice?
My family are renowned traditionalists in Ekiti state. I was a staunch Christian at the begining of my life. But my life was miserable with obstacles. There were avalanches of warning from both Christian and Islamic clerics that I should go back to my family traditional religion. It was my church pastor that helped me with transport fare to Ekiti.
What has been your experience?
I have no regret because all the hinderances have vanished and I’m living a comfortable life now.
Who are your members?
They are numerous and spread over states in Nigeria.
Isese is synonymous with rituals. What’s your opinion?
Yes. We have strong beliefs in rituals. All traditionalists are ritualists. We are not ashamed of it because that is our strength.
What’s your view about government not recognizing Tradition as the third religion in Nigeria?
Government knows that we are the first religion in the world. They know that Isese will expose their corruption and questionable characters. That’s why they are afraid of inculcating us into the system.
Do you believe in deliverance?
Our mode of deliverance is difference. We consult Ifa oracle about your and solutions before we make rituals.
What are the reasons for the multitude of jewelry that you always wear?
Our deities are always happy seeing us dangling exotic jewelries. We are the owner of gold, silver diamond etc. Basically, we live fashion.
How do you relate with your husband?
There is no rivalry and conflict between us. Our high ranks is strengthening us.
Do you allow inter religious marriages?
Our members are marrying their choice, irrespective of their religious affiliations.
What is your view on indedent dressing among the youth?
Parents should be blamed. You will never see children of traditionalists dressing half naked on the streets because our deities forbid it. Parents and religious leaders should not overlook their roles in building desired youths.
What is your advice to government on terrorists?
Government should be strict with them. Capital punishment should be used to tame them.