In a week, cult clashes among young people claimed 32 lives; this is aside other clashes and conflict in the Benin Kingdom of Edo state. Peaceful co-existence has become a priced commodity that must be won at all cost.
The Innovative Idea Response
The Rainbow Group and Unity Match for Peace involving the key 6 cults and other bodies and with the support of the Oba of Benin facilitated a common ground for finding lasting peace and harmony in the community which had before then been elusive.
Edo state is fraught with community clashes, land dispute, cult crisis and community violence taking place in different parts of the state with many youth being the key actors, killing for supremacy and position. Rival cult wars steadily claim lives including innocent lives who may be caught in their cross fires, especially in our community Ikpoba-okha local government area. Inspired to contribute to the peace process, Blessing initiated the Unity March for Peace to inform and educate youth on co-existence and sustainable development predicated on respect for human dignity and sanctity of life. This project involved six rival cult groups, 25 churches and 10 other religion groups. The march was endorsed by His Royal Majesty the Oba of Benin Kingdom and 15 Traditional rulers with the Ohenosa of the Holy Aruosa Cathedral (the High Priest of the Benin Traditional Church) taking the lead. The march was also supported by World Without Wars and Violence, Mayor for Peace and the World March for Peace as well as the Ikpoba-okha local government council.
More than 800 people participated in the march that spread across the 18 LGA in Edo state. The Oba of Benin was so impressed by the march that he gave a life cow and some bags of rice for those that marched. He also pledged his support for future activities of the initiative. There is an increased peace and calm in the area and young people are now very involved in harmonious living in the area.