— OAU Post UTME candidates in dilemma
Olanrewaju Oyedeji, Ile-Ife
The mood of the Ife residents at the moment is that of fear and apprehension following the declaration of an Oro festival in honour of the Ooni of Ife. In respect of its customs and traditions, the traditional council has declared a 7-day Oro festival. During the seven days, people especially females, will be prohibited from walking on the streets from 7PM in the evening, and according to tradition, anyone who violates this law will be at high risk.
The development has however led to anxiety as Ife residents have started stocking their houses with food items and other things with which they will survive indoors for the period in which the festival will last.
A trader who simply identified herself as Adunni, said her sales have been on the increase since the alleged death of the Ooni especially after the public declaration of the commencement of the seven day festival.
On his part, another Ife resident, Samuel Opeyemi, who is himself a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University expressed the fear that the seven day festival will result in hardship for residents. He voiced his reservations to other areas of discomfort for residents, especially as their movements will be restricted for seven whole days.
A state of calm was however still notable as at the time of filing this report as residents continued to go about their normal activities even as several people could be seen in groups discussing the latest declaration of the Oro festival.
Meanwhile, prospective students of Obafemi Awolowo University are not finding the declaration of Oro festival funny at this time against the backdrop of their post-UTME tests which is scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2015.
In separate interviews, some of the post-UTME candidates said it may be unsafe to embark on a trip to Ife at this time with the drama currently playing itself out within the ancient city. Isaac Yinka, a post-UTME candidate however expressed the hope that the post-UTME will be peaceful and that the date will not be extended. He however requested the authorities to be more sensitive to the particular details of their situation: “If there will be restricted movements, we the post-UTME students may find things difficult especially considering the fact that we are new to the city,” he pleaded.