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Building Resilience of Buruku Community: An insight on the gains made so far

Building Resilience of Buruku Community: An insight on the gains made so far

Buruku a community in
Bukuru Local Government Area of Benue state has become a good reference point
to show how community resilience can work. Affected by violence resulting from
Fulani-Herdsmen crisis for over three years, the community has been able to
utilize traditional justice system as an effective means of conflict
resolution, bringing about now peaceful co-existence in the community.

Before the community
resilience project initiated by CLEEN Foundation in Bukuru community, there was
a deep-seated animosity, mistrust and suspicion that existed among the
residents, with little or no  social
interaction amongst  religious and ethnic
groups , and non- existence of  community
structure to bring residents together to discuss and resolve issues affecting
the community.

According to Mr. Yunusa
Abubakar, a Zaki-traditional leader of the community, “in the last three years, it was
impossible to have the traditional leaders, religious leaders, women leaders
and youth leaders come together to forge a path way for the community, but, as
a result of CLEEN intervention, the community residents now live in peace and
have built a structure for peace and conflict resolution… and also fostered
peace, unity and collaboration in the community. The project reconciled
different ethnic groups and promoted mutual cooperation thereby bridging the
gap created by ethnic and religious sentiments in the past. The peace in the
community had led to extension of electricity to other villages as a sign of
love and mutual cooperation”

For Mr. Herma Nwosu aka
Simple, a  community youth leader,  “The youth of Buruku  community have embraced peace and eschewed
violence which was evident during the 2019 general elections as youths refused
allow themselves to be hired for political thugs, , giving room for peaceful
elections in the community.” He added that as a result of the project, the
community has put in place, early warning signs and alternative dispute resolution
as means of addressing all forms of conflicts.”

Mr. Olisemeka Hyacinth, a Religious
Leader recounted how “inter-Religious Exchange”, an initiative of the project
enlightened him on the different doctrines of religions and brought about
peaceful co-existence among them. “Prior to my participation in the project, I
was always afraid of associating with the Muslims, my participation in various
Inter-Religious Exchange deepened my understanding about Islam and now I can
associate freely with Muslims” he said.

For Mrs.
Hembergo Nyickwa, a community women leader
the Women in Peace Building initiative of the project helped restore peace in
the community.  In addition, there is now
an improvement in women inclusion in decision making in the community andwomen
are now given opportunity to speak and express their views on issues affecting
the community.

In the last two years, Bukuru
community has enjoyed relative peace withno record of violence
as community members continue to utilize peacebuilding structures initiated
through the project and build on the gains that have been made so far to
sustain peaceful co-existence and community resilience

Odo Nnamdi


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