17.03.2023 Featured ‘Thugs Chase, Flog Residents Over Oro Festival in Eti Osa, Lagos’

Published 17th Mar, 2023

By Tarinipre Francis

Rose (not real name), a resident of Ajiran-Agungi community in the Eti Osa area of Lagos State, has reported the activities of thugs intimidating and chasing people off the streets to observe the Oro festival rites.

This follows similar reports of shutdowns in the area on Thursday morning for the Oro rites.

“My door is locked. They just chased someone into the compound. They didn’t even pity him; they flogged him,” said Rose on Friday morning.

READ ALSO: Oro Festival Suddenly Kicks Off in Lagos Community 2 Days to Election

“It’s happening again currently. I’m livid at this point. Now, there are thugs, many of them with canes and mean faces, chasing people into hiding. It started again at a few minutes to 9 am today.”

After rumours that Saheed Ademola, the Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom, planned the Oro festival for Saturday, March 18, the day of the Lagos State gubernatorial and assembly elections, started to spread, the king, through his media spokesperson, said the event would not interfere with the elections or people’s activities.

He said it had been scheduled for 12 am to 5:30 am every day from Wednesday to Saturday, and that it would be concluded in time for residents to vote in the elections.

READ ALSO: Open Letter to the Governor of Lagos State

The events of Thursday and Friday have, however, proven otherwise, and made it increasingly difficult for people to trust the king’s words.

Rose narrated how she got stuck on Thursday because of the rites, which abruptly began around 9 am. She said although it was relaxed two hours later, and did not recommence as rumoured, it made no difference because people did not return to the streets, and shops in the area remained closed.

By 9 am again on Friday, the festival kicked off, and thugs were reported to have chased people going about their daily activities with canes.

Rose told FIJ, “Whatever this is, it is restricting people’s movement and freewill, and safety is not assured.”

The Elegushi palace spokesperson denied having any knowledge of such activities. He said that the Ikate kingdom did not extend to Ajiran.

Published 17th Mar, 2023

By Tarinipre Francis


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