Mugu Zakka Bako
Counselor and Training Coordinator, Christian Council of Nigeria Peacebuilding and Trauma Healing Centre, Visiting Lecturer at University of Jos and St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos, Nigeria
Mugu Zakka Bako is an active and trained peace builder whose passion for non-violence as a solution to conflict was molded out of personal violence against his family members. Mugu has a Master’s degree in Conflict Management and Peace Studies. He has also attended training on Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) USA, Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) Rwanda, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana, Dialogue and Mediation at West African Peacebuilding institute Ghana, Lux Terra Psycho-Spiritual Centre, and “Do No Harm” in Nigeria, and the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival, Canada. Mugu engages with partners and grassroots peace builders to address sources of violence in Nigeria. He teaches Peace Studies courses at the University and seminaries and has trained many young religious leaders in Nigeria. Mugu has worked extensively in the area of interfaith dialogue amongst Christians, Muslims, farmers and herders, as well as providing trauma healing for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, Nigeria. He introduced the “Alternatives to Violence” Project and the trauma healing components at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and also introduced peace and conflict resolution courses in LAWNA theological college and St. Augustine’s major seminary. He also initiated the establishment of the Training Centre in Jos. He currently consults with many peacebuilding organizations in Nigeria. His interest is in interreligious dialogue and trauma healing. Mugu identifies with a motto “Uniting and healing People through Peace lens”: a motto that has informed the basic principles of his life.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Re-enforcing Synergies through Inter-Religious Dialogues
Religious sites are representative of the history, social fabric, and traditions of people in
every country and community all over the planet and must be fully respected as places
of peace and harmony where worshippers feel safe to practice their rituals. The increasing number of attacks against religious sites in the past years is a stark reminder that no country and no faith is spared from those heinous crimes. Attacks and all acts of violence against religious sites and worshippers must be condemned without exception. There is a clear sense of urgency that the time has come for all relevant actors to come together and identify actions that can help prevent attacks against religious sites and contribute to guaranteeing the safety of the faithful to worship in peace.
Strengthening Interfaith Voices Against Hate Speech (SIVAH)
The project will commence with courtesy visits and project briefs to the local governments where communities and stakeholders for the project will be selected. Then there will be a 2-day workshop in Plateau and Kaduna states for selected religious and community leaders. This training is expected to equip them with knowledge on the patterns through which they can build a solid narrative against Hate Speech which will be propagated in religious gatherings, the media, and community meetings.
Finally, there will be an inter-generational faith meeting in the communities of the project which will be encouraged to become a going concern even after the project period elapses. Then, selected members from the stakeholders will embark on advocacy visits to the Ministry of Information of both Plateau and Kaduna states, as well as the National Orientation Agencies both at state and local government levels.