The police have assured voters in Lagos State say there won’t be Oro festivities in the state on Saturday, maintaining that there is no threat to the governorship and state assembly elections billed for that day.
Reports on social media claimed that the Oro festival in some parts of the state will take place on Saturday – on the same day as the elections. The development triggered reactions from Nigerians most of whom lamented the situation.
But speaking on Channels Television’s election show The 2023 Verdict on Friday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said it is only one part of the state that conducted Oro which he confirmed ended on Friday (today).
“When the news went viral that there will be Oro between Wednesday and Thursday, the major city that is concerned is Ikate land where we have Kabiyesi Oba Elegushi and I personally put a call to Kayesi to find out what is the situation.
“I am a Yoruba man, and I know what it is when they say they will have Oro cult or Oro festival. I know definitely many people will not be allowed to move particularly women and he clarified and said the Oro festival will end today (Friday). So, this means it’s not a threat to the electoral process in any way because the election is tomorrow (Saturday).
“I think if the Oro is over today, that settles it. So, according to the information I have from Lagos State, the Oro ends today Friday and the election is tomorrow. So, I don’t think it is a threat to the electoral process in any way,” Adejobi said.
He said he is not aware that there are other communities in the state planning on doing the Oro festival on election day and as such, there is nothing to worry about. He, however, said that if some people insist on going on with such activity on election day, the police will also deal with the situation.
Orò Festival is an event celebrated by towns and settlements of Yoruba origin. It is an annual traditional ceremony that is patriarchal in nature, as it is only celebrated by male descendants who are paternal natives of the specific locations where the event is taking place.
During the festival, females and non-natives stay indoors as oral history has it that Orò must not be seen by women and non-participating people.