By Francesca Iwambe
The Nigeria Police Force have allayed fears concerning the Oro festivities rumoured to hold in Lagos state on today.
The law enforcement agency maintained that the feared Oro festival will not be taking place in Lagos today and that resident in the state should troop out massively to exercise their civic duty with no fear.
Reports on social media had earlier claimed that the Oro festival in some parts of the state will take place on Saturday which happens to be the same day as the elections. The development triggered reactions from Nigerians most of whom lamented the situation.
Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, explained on Channels Television that Oro is only conducted in a part of the state that it has ended on Friday (yesterday).
“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 festival. I know definitely many people will not be allowed to move particularly women and he clarified and said the Oro festival will end yesterday (Friday). So, this means it's not a threat to the electoral process in any way because the election is today (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 also explained that 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.
The 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.