CLEEN Foundation has shown that investing in community-focused initiatives that will improve the ability of residents to lead in the prevention of crimes and conflict resolutions in their area is another sure way of addressing insecurity.
Buruku community in Bukuru Local Government
Area of Benue state has become a good reference model. The community affected
by violence as a result of Fulani-Herdsmen crisis for over three years, has
been able to utilize traditional justice system as an effective means of
conflict resolution and entrenching peaceful co-existence among residents.
to CLEEN initiative, “community resilience project” there was a predominance of
animosity, mistrust and suspicion that existed among community residents, with
little or no social interaction particularly amongst Christians-Muslims,
and non- existence of community structure that brings them together to
discuss and resolve issues affecting the community.
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”,
Mr. Herma Nwosu, a community youth leader, “The youth of Buruku community have
embraced peace and eschewed violence which was evident during the 2019 general
elections as the youth refused to 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
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.
Mrs. Hembergo Nyickwa a
community women leader, the Women in Peace Building initiative of the project
helped in the restoration of peace in the community. “there is now an improvement in
women inclusion in decision making in the community and women are now given
opportunity to speak and express their views on issues affecting the community”
the last two years, Bukuru community has enjoyed peace with no record of
violence as residents continue to utilize peace building structures established
through the project initiative to resolve issues arising among them.