In the aftermath of the news about the annual Oro festival in Ikorodu community, Lagos Mainland, scheduled to hold tomorrow, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, with female residents unable to move freely in some parts of Ikorodu community, the Lagos State Police Command has allayed fears of residents saying residents can move freely.
In a statement jointly signed by the State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal and the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi shortly after a meeting, the Command assured residents especially women of their safety and right of freedom of movement.
The Command blamed the viral report which drew massive condemnations from people across the world on mischief makers.
“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to the news making the rounds on the social media that the female gender is forbidden to be seen outside their homes or move around the town with effect from tomorrow 8/05/2018 being the day set aside as ORO DAY.
“In view of the above, the CP Lagos called for a meeting attended by the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, Palace Chiefs and the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Alhaji Muslim Folami,” part of the statement reads.
“The Oba stated during the meeting that it is unthinkable for a man with his level of exposure to do or say anything that would be seen as discriminatory against the female gender. He, however, acknowledged that the festival is an age long tradition of Ikorodu people which had been even before he was born. He added that the festival would hold without denying the female folks their right to freedom of movement,” the Command concluded.
The statement also quoted the Commissioner of Police as saying that the Command will not tolerate any discriminatory tradition against the female gender, warning that operatives would deal ruthlessly with anybody who hides under the guise of custom or tradition to foment trouble in the state.
Imohimi, therefore, enjoined women to go about their lawful business without let or hindrance.
Ikorodu traditionalists insist on festival
Moments after the joint statement by the Lagos State Police Command and the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Shotobi became public knowledge, leading traditionalists in Ikorodu have insisted that the festival which imposes a curfew on female residents would go ahead.
InsideMainland reliably gathered from sources close to the traditionalists that all plans have been put in place to ensure the age-long festival goes as planned.
“The statement does not hold water. If the government wants to stop the festival, it is not on the eve of the event that they would release the statement. The situation should have been addressed immediately the festival date was announced,” the source said.
Meanwhile, InsideMainland gathered exclusively that the rites that precedes the Oro festival had already commenced with female residents across communities directly affected in Ikorodu such as Aga, Itunmaja, Ajina, Ita–Elewa, Ijomu, Owolowo among several others rushing to their various homes.
More updates to follow as it unfolds.