Christian Association in Ile-Ife Denounces Oro Curfew as Illegal, Urges Religious Tolerance

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, has strongly condemned the imposition of a five-hour curfew by adherents of the Obatala deity, describing it as illegal and against the principles of religious tolerance.

The curfew, declared to facilitate the Oro procession through designated areas in Ile-Ife, has raised concerns among residents and religious leaders. In a statement signed by Oba Isoro O. Dada, the Obalesu Obatala Agbaiye, residents were instructed to observe the curfew between 2pm and 7pm for the smooth passage of the procession.

Expressing disapproval of the curfew, Rev Canon Sam Onitiju, the Ile-Ife CAN chairman, emphasized the importance of religious tolerance and the need to uphold individual freedoms. He recalled a peace meeting convened by His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, with religious leaders and the Osun State Commissioner of Police in May 2023, where the importance of religious tolerance and the prevention of movement restrictions were emphasized.

Onitiju urged Christians in Ile-Ife to participate in Holy Week services without fear of molestation, reaffirming their right to worship freely without interference. He called upon law enforcement authorities to uphold peace and prevent any disruption of the town’s tranquility, particularly during religious events.

Highlighting past instances of conflict between Muslims and Oro adherents, Onitiju underscored the need for mutual respect and understanding among religious groups. He urged the Inspector General of Police and the Osun State Commissioner of Police to ensure that individuals are not subjected to harassment under the guise of religious rites.


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