Oro worshippers impose curfew on Idiroko border town despite signing agreement against it

September 3, 2019
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Oro worshippers in Idiroko, Agosasa, Ilase, Ajegunle and some other communities in Ipokia Local Government of Ogun State have reneged on the agreement they signed with the government and other religious bodies that they would put an end to the imposition of curfew on communities during their festivals.


Saga Gist reports that the affected communities are currently under curfew since midnight as no woman or stranger is allowed to come out during Oro festivals.


Business activities in Idiroko, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic, have been paralysed as shops and other business centres are under lock key, while the Oro cult members have a free day to celebrate their festival.


It was also gathered that movement of goods or persons is totally restricted on the international road that links the two countries, costing the Federal Government loss of revenue.


A source, who did not want his name mentioned for fear of persecution, said nobody could stop the Oro worshippers from imposing curfew on the people.


“I think you know that the agreement signed in August by the traditionalists was done in the presence of security agents. I can tell you that nothing has been done by the security agencies to stop the imposition of curfew on our community during weekday like this.


“It is very unfortunate that a border town like Idiroko, as popular as it is, still involves in this barbaric act. Many of us that have important things to do today could not go out. They are coming out again on Saturday. What a hell? Our source lamented.


Saga Gist reported on August 22 that, hitherto, there have been crises over the imposition of curfew, between Christians/Muslims and Oro worshippers in Idiroko, Ajegunle, Ilase, Oko Eye, Agosasa, Ibatefin, Ifonyintedo and others in Ipokia Local Government.


But a document made available to our correspondent indicated that an agreement was reached at a religious stakeholders’ meeting held at the Conference Room of Ipokia Local Government Secretariat on August 21.


The meeting, which was presided over by the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) in Ipokia, Engr Babatunde Odunlami, had in attendance representatives of Christian and Islamic faithful, leaders of Oro worshippers and security agents.


According to the document, Oro festivals would now hold midnight from 12am to 4am and there should be no restriction of any form to non-members within the period. This they signed in conformity with an Ipokia High Court ruling.


It is, however, surprising to residents of the affected communities that the Oro worshippers could not abide by an agreement they reached less than two weeks ago.

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