The Nigeria Police Force has told voters in Lagos State that there will be no Oro celebrations in the state on Saturday (today), claiming that the gubernatorial and state assembly elections scheduled for that day are not jeopardized.
According to social media reports, the Oro festival will be held in various regions of the state on Saturday, the same day as the elections.
The development elicited emotions from Nigerians, the majority of whom bemoaned the situation.
Muyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Affairs Officer, stated that only one part of the state participated in Oro, which he confirmed ended on Friday (yesterday).
“When the rumor went around that there will be Attacks between Wednesday and Thursday, the biggest 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 they mean when they say Oro cult or Oro festival.
I know that many people, notably women, will be barred from moving, and he reiterated that the Oro celebration will end yesterday (Friday).
So, because the election is today (Saturday), it is not a threat to the democratic process in any manner, Adejobi said on Channels Television on Friday.
“I suppose if the Oro is over today, that’s the end of it.
Well, according to what I’ve heard from Lagos State, the Campaign ends today, Friday, and the election is tomorrow.
Consequently, I don’t see it as a threat to the electoral process,” Adejobi added.
He stated that he is unaware of any other municipalities in the state planning to have the Oro festival on election day, and hence there is no cause for concern.
He did, however, say that if certain people insist on carrying out such activities on election day, the police will deal with the situation as well.
Festival is an event celebrated by Yoruba towns and localities.
It is an annual patriarchal ceremony that is only commemorated by male descendants who are paternal natives of the exact regions where the event is taking place.
Females and non-natives are not permitted to attend the celebration because oral tradition holds that Or must not be seen by women or non-participants.