Saturday, August 22

Residents warned to stay indoors as Oro festival sweeps Ile Ife

Residents of Ile-Ife, have been warned to remain indoors as traditionalists wrap up the funeral rites for the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade.

The final rites are to be performed by the Oro deity.

Town criers went from street to street on Saturday,asking residents especially commercial drivers and motorcyclists, to keep off the roads between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The Head of the Oro Cult in the town and the Awara of Iwara, Oba Layi Adereti, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), ordered the curfew, warning that anyone who flouted the order, irrespective of age or gender would face its consequences.

Many residents rushed to the few available markets to get essentials that would last them for the day.

Major markets in Ile-Ife have been shut since last penultimate Friday when the burial rites started,although some around Mayfair have been in operation.

As a result of the curfew, some Heads of Departments in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife cancelled the continuous assessment tests for their students scheduled for yesterday.

Some students, who reside off campus, were advised to remain indoors in compliance with the Oro cult order.

Also, hundreds of commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as "Okada riders" were seen on Friday distributing a hand bill to their colleagues, warning them against operating in Ife yesterday.

The Vice President of the Okada Riders Association, Ile-Ife chapter, Mr Idowu Akamo, told NAN that the fliers became imperative because some members of the association were always busy and might not have heard the town criers while making the announcement.

He said that many of the residents as well as the Okada riders had thought the mourning period would end on August 21, adding that many residents were surprised when they heard the stay-at-home order.

According to him, the Oro people should not be dared because the consequences might be disastrous, saying the association will not like to lose its members because of disobedience.

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