Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Berom is a popular tribe found in four Local Government Areas of Plateau State.The councils are Jos North, Jos South, Barikin Ladi and Riyom, all in the Northern zone of the state.
But outside their state of origins, members of the tribe are in high number in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Last week, indigenes of the popular tribe under the umbrella of Berom community in Abuja rolled out drums to celebrate their culture.
The celebration, held every year is known as the Berom Festival. Some refer it as Nzem Berom.
The event held with members of the association dressed in the traditional costumes, and singing songs in their local dialect, in appreciation of God’s abundant blessings upon their lives and families.
President of BECA, Da Markus Choji Dye explained that the gathering was an annual event that showcases the culture and traditions of Berom resident in Abuja and environs.
The aim of the gathering is to bring unity and showcase the rich traditions and cultural endowments of the Berom people in Abuja and environs.
He agve historical background of Nzem Berom Abuja, which started over ten years ago, with the aim of strengthening the bond of unity among the Beroms in Abuja.
“The first Nzem Berom Abuja took place in 1995 and the second took place in 1996. The festival was suspended due to reorganisation in BECA. The festival resumed on May 21, 2016 as third in the series after 19 years. Today’s Nzem Berom Abuja is the fourth and has come to stay. We are celebrating the festival in a simple manner. We will continue to encourage hosting of this festival with the aim of uniting our people and promoting peaceful coexistence among other tribes in the FCT and Nigeria as a whole.”
According to him, the association exists to encourage unity and progress of all Berom people in and outside of Abuja.
To improve the general wellbeing and development of members through moral and material assistance.
It also exists to relate with other communities and or associations with similar objectives for peaceful co-existence for enhancement of socio-economic development of members in and outside the country.
Dye said the Beroms have also not failed in being their brothers keepers especially those displaced due to crisis.
They have on continuous basis provided relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Jos South Local Government Areas, especially those Communities affected by insurgency.
They also embark on voter education of members on the need to participate actively in the ongoing voters registration exercise in order to be part of those that will elect the next set of leaders in coming elections.
Chairman of the occasion, Jack Yakubu Pam commended the Beroms in Abuja for showcasing their culture and also lending support to displaced persons back home.
He urged other tribes to emulate Berom people residing in Abuja.
Highlight of the occasion was the display of the Berom cultural dance by the various branches of BECA.
The grand finale of the 2017 Nzem Berom was preceded by a gala night, where the Zereh Berom Abuja (Most Beautiful Berom Girl in Abuja) was selected.