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ORO FESTIVAL CURFEW: Impunity, Total Disregard for Human Rights



By Rosheed Akintibubo

The attention of the residents of Ile-Ife and its environs has been drawn to the negative repercautions and effects that the recently circulated statement about the curfew supposedly to be imposed on the ancient town will have. It would be recalled that two days ago, the Oro worshippers announced the scheduled time and places to cover in a statement released warning residents to vacate and move away from certain designated areas like: Igbo Itapa, Ajamopo, Gbodo, Ita Olopo, Oja Ife, Oranfe, Enuwa, Sabo, Ooni Ilare, Road 7, Olumogbe among others. It was to take place between the hours of 2-7pm, 27th March, 2024

The statement was signed by the Oba Isoro, High Chief Dada, O. O.
This development has raised dusts at different quarters leading to continuing condemnation of the curfew in great terms.

One of the leading Islamic movements, the Muslims’ Right Concern, through her leader, Professor Isiaq Akintola berated the development and described it as illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful. That, “it is not acceptable to all Muslim Ummah”.

In the opinion of the Ife Muslim Community majority of people interviewed also corroborated the MURIC Chair’s stand. They recalled that Muslims’ are always their target who they (the Oro Worshippers) think they should attack. The ugly incident that occurred at Idi-Imo Mosque at Ilare, where the Imam, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Adesiyan was brutally attacked even inside the mosque still remains fresh and continues to linger in their minds. This act was condemned entirely.
Other sister Islamic organisations that opined on this matter include the Muslim Political Awareness Front, MUPAF, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organizations, NACOMYO and others.

On what should be the way forward, we are made to know that allowing the Oro worshippers to have their field day would amount to depriving others of their constitutional rights and trampling on Muslim rights would never be condoned from any quarters no matter who you are and how highly placed.

In sum, it was gathered that:
First, the supposed curfew should be rendered null and void, without any effect;
Next, people should be allowed to go about their normal businesses as usual;
Oro worshippers should not disturb or distrupt any Islamic programme anywhere in Ife and its surroundings henceforth; and
Lastly, if the so-called traditional festival is a must, it should be in the dead night not during the day as obtained in the ancient times in Ile-Ife. One of the groups reiterated that doing Oro during the day will be tantamount to deliberate attempt to erupt violence and nobody has the monopoly of it.

The groups thereafter call on His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi to intervene and call the Onisoros to order so that the enduring and relative peace we are enjoying in Ife would not be jeopardised.

Orirun ko ni baje, Ife a gbe wa ooo.

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