Lagos traditional ruler, Elegushi justifies Oro festival on election day, says deity has nothing to do with polls

The traditional ruler of the Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom in Lagos State, Oba Saheed Ademola, has justified reason why the Oro festival was fixed to hold on election day, scheduled for Saturday March 18, 2023, explaining that the festival had been scheduled for the day before postponement of elections by the National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Penpushing reports that the monarch explained that the ‘Oro’ festival is an annual event and would not affect the Governorship and Assembly elections scheduled for the same day, which he said will hold between the hours of 12 a.m. – 5 a.m. on Wednesday to Saturday.

The traditional ruler through his spokesperson, Temitope Oyefeso, it is recalled in a memo issued to the residents of the community had announced that there will be a restriction of movement to perform the “Oro” festival starting in midnight of Wednesday.

“The festival is a midnight thing, it starts from 12 midnight today to 5 a.m. tomorrow, midnight tomorrow to 5 a.m. Friday, then Friday 12 midnight to 5 a.m. There is a curfew from the government from 12 midnight on Friday up till 6 p.m. the next day (Saturday)’.

‘By 4:30 to 5 a.m., we will be out of the road. Anyone that wants to drive to the polling unit will get there at 8:00 because INEC will not even get to the polling unit until 7 a.m. The oro is just within the kingdom and people that want to come and vote in Ikate who don’t live in Ikate will arrive Friday evening.”

Penpushing further reports that the royal father said that the festival is an annual event which is performed for a month, adding that the part that restricts movement is just for three days, declaring that Oro has nothing to do with election

‘The Oro does not have anything to do with the election in anyways, there is no interference of any kind, I have spoken with the PPRO from Abuja. By 12 midnight that is when Oro will start and that is the same time that the government curfew will start too,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that Oyefeso said that they had fixed the ritual for 18 March in a deliberate attempt to avoid the election but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the election to same day.

The traditional ruler argued that there is a process that is not public which has started since last weekend and must be completed this weekend, but contrary to this many social media users claimed that the development is an attempt to disenfranchise voters in the community known to be the stronghold of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) until the last election.

Penpushing reports that the Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, when contacted was quoted saying that it is a community matter, adding that as at the time of filing this report he was yet to speak with the monarch on the matter.

The Labour Party(LP) Governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, in reaction to the development urged his supporters to come out en masse and vote, adding that the festival won’t affect Saturday’s election.

“Be rest assured that we are going to come out in force to ensure that we resist any form of intimidation or harassment on Saturday and our votes are going to count,” he said in a video clip posted on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.

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