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June 27, 2023

Igede women peace Mission was convened at the instance of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Esther Oga Ero. Saddened by the spate of violence that greeted the land dispute between Ibilla and Oju clans in Oju Local Government, she organised a peace mission to douse the tension between the two communities.

The event commenced with invitation to EXCO of women all associations in the diaspora, Oju and Obi. The sessions commenced on Tuesday 20th and wednesday 21st June 2023 with a session of prayers for the peace of Igede land, hosted by Mrs Comfort Agogo, one time Permanent Secretary and Chairman of the the Benue State Civil service and Chairman, Benue State Primary Healthcare Board as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of Anyang Ny’Igede in Makurdi. Funds were raised to support the cause on the platform of Anyang Ny’Igede with different groups, home and abroad contributing to support the peace mission.

The Mission on arrival at Oju Local Government Area on Saturday 24th of June 2023, they were met by members Anyang Ny’Igede led by Pastor Mrs Comfort Agada and Evangelist Mrs Catherine Echor at the Pavilion where prayers were offered. They paid a courtesy visit on Adirahu Ny’Igede, HRH, King Oga Ero, CP. Rtd. He welcomed them and thanked them for making the sacrifice for the peace of Igede land and prayed for lasting peace. He urged women to guard the homefront to promote peace by counselling the youth and raising children that would promote community peace.

The Mission then proceeded to the Ibilla and Oju communities respectively where the women took turns to address the people and sue for peace. They encouraged them to build on time honoured traditions that unite rather than divide them.

They pointed out that there could be no meaningful development in an atmosphere of rancour. They implored the communities to forgive one another and embrace lasting peace saying that all Igede people are one.

The communities of Ibilla and Oju, commended the Women Peace Mission and praised them for their motherly and unbiased role. They expressed joy that the peace mission was the first neutral group to visit them since the dispute broke. They agreed to give peace a chance and accepted olive branches borne by the women as a symbol of peace and resolve to build peace going forward. They wished the peace mission safe journey to their destinations.

Report written by Onwanyi Ulegede (Team Lead, Anyang Ny’Igede Forum).

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