Traditionalists Hold Oro Festival In Ile-Ife
The festival coincides with the funeral of the head of hunters (Balogun) in the ancient town, although many residents think it may not be unconnected with controversial demise of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
When The Guardian visited the ancient town yesterday, sporadic gunshots were heard very close to the Ile Oodua Palace, Enuwa, Ife.
Sources however said the gunshots had nothing to do with current development in the town.
Oro festival in Yorubaland is usually held by traditionalists to appease the gods to ward off evil and usher in an era of prosperity.
The festival is usually held for seven days, while it is a taboo for females, young and old, to go out during the period.
It was gathered that traditionalists would use the period of the festival to appease the gods and perform necessary rituals that would make the town to be more peaceful and at the same time avert looming danger.
It could not be confirmed yesterday evening in Ile Ife the reason for holding the festival now that the situation about Ooni’s health still remains controversial, but sources said the festival might not be unconnected with the recent happening in town.
A source said: “There is a door that remains permanently closed during the lifetime of a sitting monarch in Ife and since the door remains closed, it means that the monarch is presumed to be alive.
“The closure of markets for business and ringing of a special bell to announce the death of an Ooni are two major significant signs to indicate that the monarch has joined his ancestors and these are yet to be done.”