Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom in Lagos State Oba Saheed Ademola has said there is no need for panic as the March 2023 Oro festival will not affect the polls on Saturday.
A memo issued earlier to the residents of Ikate-Elegushi by the monarch said, “HRM. Alayeluwa Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Kusenlaiii, Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom and environ wish to announce to the general public that the Oro rite will hold in the Ikate kingdom and its environs from today Wednesday 15th March 2023 to Saturday 18th March 2023. (3 days).
“Residence and passersby are warned to stay indoors or stay off the kingdom before midnight that the rite will commence at 5:30 a.m. on each day.
“This exercise is for the good of all, please let us cooperate and comply with this announcement regardless of your status. His royal majesty regrets any inconvenience.”
The monarch had claimed during the February 25 polls that strangers who were not members of the community participated in the voting process.
Following complaints that the festival could cause fear among the electorate, the monarch’s media aide Temitope Oyefeso told PUNCH, “The restriction of movement for the Oro rites in Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom, Eti-Osa is from Wednesday to Friday, Election Day is not included.
“The restriction is from 12 midnight to 5 am on each day, while residents are free to move before and after this time. This clarification is necessary for those peddling falsehood as to the motive for the rites. The peace and progress of our land is the responsibility of all of us and we must be alive to this responsibility.”
During the festival, females and non-natives stay indoors as oral history has it that Oro must not be seen by women and non-participating people.