By G9ija

The traditional ruler of the Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom of Lagos State, Saheed Ademola, Kusenla III, has declared three days of Oro festival.

The festival, which bars women and non-indigenes from being seen outside, holds from midnight till 5:30am.

It will run from March 16 to 18, 2023, the last day being the day for the Governorship and States Houses of Assemblies elections.

In a memo to the residents of Ikate-Elegushi, the monarch announced that there would be a restriction of movement to perform the Oro rite in the community.

Reacting to reports that the rites were fixed for the days preceding and day of the elections and meant to disenfranchise women and non-indigenes from voting, the Special Assistant on Media Affairs to Oba Elegushi, Temitope Oyefesom said: “Yes, there is an Oro rite happening in the Ikate kingdom.

“So, the Elegushi community council decided that residents and visitors should be in their houses from midnight to morning on Wednesday to Saturday.

“We are not saying people should sit at home during the day like they have in other places.

“Elections are held during the day, and by morning we will open the roads for people to come.

“It is a traditional rite.

“But unfortunately, it has come at this time.

“ It is an annual event, and this is not the first time.

“We are not disrupting any process.”

Oyefeso explained that non-indigenes registered to vote in Elegushi will partake in the voting process.

He said: “They will not leave the house to vote by 2am, so they ought to be in their house.

“Voting starts by 8am and there is a police curfew for midnight on election day.

“We are not doing anything different from what the police have done.

“It will just commence two days earlier.

“People should stop speculating rumours or being mischievous about Oro rites.

“It is not interfering with the process of the election.

“Residents can move about from morning till 11:30pm.”