COVID-19: The Need For Us To Stay Safe Against Odds And Potency of Oro Festival In Ile-Ife By Rotimi Makinde

The concept of cultural respect has a positive effect on us all. COVID 19 is real. The need for us to stay safe and remain at home can not be overemphasised. Government at all level and as recommended by WHO, came up with the policy for us to stay at home, avoid public places as a measure to curtail the spread of the strange deadly disease. Surprisingly, we defied. They rolled out the military who chase us around more like animals, yet we defied the warning to keep us safe. We were demanding food and wanted some palliative and may be free money…Government is not sleeping and for such, they are working with some public health workers who deserve our prayers; they set up committees involving men of calibre to convince us of their sincerity, yet we are failing in our trust to embrace the needed patriotism.


The Ooni of Ife and so many other traditional rulers, religion and opinion leaders, captains of industry are also restless. Donations are coming in billions, research and series of suggestions which include prayers become the order of the day. Stay home is the first immediate reaction but alas, food, movements and liberty are our priorities and not the need to collectively fight the disease; to stay at home!


Ooni became restless, he is the leader of the Yorubaland and he became so concerned to gather other leaders and they remember the need to revisit our traditional way we seem to forsake. Here comes the “Oro”…


To those who may not know, according to wikipedia; Oro Festival is an event celebrated by towns and settlements of Yoruba origin. It is an annual traditional festival that is of patriarchal nature, as it is only celebrated by male descendants who are paternal natives to the specific locations where the particular event is taking place.


During the festival, females and non-natives stay indoors as oral history has it that Oro must not be seen by women and non-participating people.


Only yesterday, a public notice came when the Royal Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, saw the need to appease the gods over the impediment of the endemic disease called Coronavirus. The greatest news at the moment and from my vantage position in Ile Ife, all is calm! Nobody and not even the stubborn men, can pass through Ile Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race. As evidenced, Army, Police, Civil defence, Amotekun are not needed to effect compliance by the inhabitants…

Wo fere ko ku pi(Glance at it and die instanter!). That is exactly the way it goes if we begin to respect our cultures…

May the good Lord accept all our sacrifices for this dreaded coronavirus that keeps us indoor. How I wish we all embraced this across Yoruba land.


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