Oro Festival vs Lagos @50: a Lugubrious Show of Absurdity By Yusuf Jimoh
Just few days, I wrote to applaud the ingenuity of the Lagos State Governor in ameliorating the conditions of Lagosians, I had thought it would take a while before the dark side of this government would hover on our peaceful consciousness.
But Alas, the emergence of the notorious Oro Festival, usually held twice within a month in Ikorodu town is indeed a big dent and constitute a worrisome development.
The “Oro” rituals in Ikorodu has violated and still continuously violates the freedom of women. This is not only immoral to any rectitude Lagos state ever claims to project, it also constitutes a big devastation to any respect the Center of Excellence may claim to have for women’s rights.
No doubt, Lagos State has come of age as it celebrates 50 but the horrendous violation of fundamental human rights of women, conspicuously happening under the ‘scrupulous’ watch and criminal silence of the State government is a huge ‘massacre’, a strong retrogressive wheel driving the Commercial Hub of West Africa into pre-colonial era!
The other day, Lagos state was quick to claim media attention by outrightly kicking against the action of a ‘club-guy’ parading women on chains like dogs on Lagos streets. In fact, one of the news agencies wrote that the governor ordered the guy’s arrest.
While the government said it did so to continue to protect women’s rights, it beats the imagination of every sane citizen that the same proactive government, headed by Wonder Boy – Akinwunmi Ambode has continuously kept mute on the atrocities the Ikorodu ritual vampires are unleashing on the liberty of innocent women. This is a feat Ogun State has achieved few years ago under Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Governor Ambode’s progress in Lagos has been characterised with very distinctive successes. I have always applauded it. But what is the essence of a good governance that violates basic human rights and universally granted freedom? Does Lagos subscribe to selective judgment on violators of peace and freedom of people?
Or why, in a civilised and sane society will women be locked away from the outside world – from Friday evening only to be released on Sunday morning. Why will they be locked in from Wednesday evening only to be released on Friday morning. Why will businesses and essential services (banks, hospitals, markets, supermarkets, farms etc) be shut for about 36 hours just because some miscreants wants to bath naked, walk naked and cane themselves naked in the public, but without the presence of women.
The Oro ritualists’ violation of the freedom of our women in Ikorodu is as worse as Boko Haram’s many violations on our women in the Northern part of the country.
Ikorodu indigenes are part of the most civilised Nigerians. Aside the Isale Ekos and the Epetedos, the Ikorodus arguably wield the most influence in Lagos State. They are the most traveled Nigerians, constituting the largest black population in the UK and many other European countries. But how this exposure has not imparted on their dark age adherence to Oro festivities remains puzzling to many men and women of civility and sanity.
This is perhaps the best and most opportune time for the legal luminaries and right activities to prove their mettle.
Unfortunately, it seems Lagos State is watching gleefully with what can best be described as Criminal Silence. Isn’t this a shame @50?
Yusuf Jimoh Aweda is the Director of Centre of Human Rectitude and member of TRNG Writers Club.