The restriction of movement during the Oro rites in the Ikate-Elegushi kingdom, Eti-osa Local Government area of Lagos State, is raising dust in the air. However, according to the Aro-Oba Elegushi, Chief Olalekan Bakare, the Oro rites are not intended to affect the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, contrary to what people are thinking. Oro Festival Not Intended to Disrupt Election – Chief Olalekan Bakare, continue reading.
Many people in Lagos believe that the Oro rites, which coincide with the March 18th governorship election, are politically motivated. The Labor Party’s gubernatorial candidate for Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, also expressed this belief in an interview when he said, “It is unfortunate that these Oro rights are seen as going in line with the INEC calendar, which makes it look political.”
However, Chief Bakare explained that the Oro rites do not take place on election day and do not affect the election in any way. He added that the Oro rites take place between midnight and 5 a.m. and do not affect anyone since they end on Friday. He also said that the Oro rites are a regular activity and that people are just running with this story because of the election. Oro Festival Not Intended to Disrupt Election – Chief Olalekan Bakare, continue reading.
According to tradition, the Oro festival is a men-only affair, and women, children, and visitors are not allowed to show their faces on the road until the festival ends. During the Oro rites, women must not look at the men performing the rituals as they walk from street to street. It is believed that any woman who sees the men performing the Oro rituals will die, or something bad will happen to her.
Different towns in Yoruba land have their own way of celebrating the Oro festival, and each village has its own time of the year to do so. Oloye Kazeem Adeniyi Roga, the traditional leader of Ikorodu, explains that the reason for the rituals is to pray for evil spirits to leave the community and to promote good things to come to the people living there. Oro Festival Not Intended to Disrupt Election – Chief Olalekan Bakare, continue reading.
It is important to understand the cultural significance of the Oro rites and not to view them through a political lens. These rites have been a part of the Yoruba tradition for a long time, and they serve a specific purpose within the community. As long as people respect the culture and the restrictions during the Oro festival, there should be no cause for concern.