Female residents of Ikorodu have been asked to stay indoors on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 because of the celebration of Magbo festival.
So, the Oro Festival in Ikorodu, Lagos State is to take place, and non residents, and especially women must stay indoors for the whole day of the celebration of that festival.
As a Yoruba man, I grew up knowing that women are prohinited from being outdoors when the Oro People are doing their bit Understandably, many people feel this is an infringement on their fundamental human rights.
It is an open secret that people caught flouting this non_movement directive are often ‘slaughtered’ – sacrificed to the “gods”.
How legal is this? In this modern day?
Hear the Ruler Of Ikorodu:
Kabiru Shotobi, The Ayangbure Of Ikorodu, Traditional Ruler Of The Town, Said Tradition Forbids Females To Step Out Of Their Homes Or Move Around Town On The Said Day Which He Says Is The “Oro Day”
There is nothing wrong in celebrating culture, or glorifying tradition. I wrote about the vital importance of maintaining our tradition / culture in Please Identify Yourself and The Language Of Extinction.
Being a traditionalist has its advantages. A people is lost if the culture /tradition is totally lost. However, while promoting culture / tradition, it is important to do so in ways that would not inconvenience others. Just like the practice of religion, go ahead and worship any way you deem fit, but never trample on the rights of others, or violate their freedom.
This kind of thing shouldn’t be happening in this day and age of modernity. Decreeing that a woman must stay indoors on account of some deity worship is completely retrogressive. What Is Good For The Goose Is Good For The Women.
Under what constitution does this work, and what’s role of government law enforcement agents in this?
Supposing I am a female banker who has to come back home late, and leave the house early, living in Ikorodu, how would I cope with getting to and from work on the day of the Oro Festival? But then if the women / non indigenes don’t continue to protest, how would things change?
It is noteworthy that a State High Court in Ogun State Has Pronounced The Oro Restriction On Movement An Illegality, and directed the festival to be carried out only at night between 12 am and 4 am. (The big question is whether this would be enforced by the government security agents.)
By the way, the news, Breaking: Oro: Lagos Police Vow To Deal With Anyone Who Stops Women From Moving In Ikorodu is a good steep in the right direction, and sends the right signals.
More of such is needed, and the traditional rulers need to be co-opted to always consider the rights of others when certain festivities are carried out.
The progress made in patriarchal countries like Saudi Arabia regarding allowing women more rights didn’t come on a platter of gold. It had to be fought for. Just like pulling down apartheid in South Africa took lots of struggle. And the progress, no matter how slow, is better than complacent acceptance of these situation of things.
Obnoxious traditions, culture or practices,that impinge negatively on some sections of people need to be practised more responsibly, or jettisoned.