L-R: Mr. Jaye Gaskia, Chairman Partnering Against Violent Extremism network, Major General Salihu Uba (rtd) UNDP/PVE Project Coordinator, Rear Admiral YEM Musa Coordinator Counter Terrorism Centre (CCTC) in the Office of the National Security Adviser, and Dr. Garba Abari Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) during the symposium in Abuja.
In line with component 3 of the Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which is engaging communities and building resilience, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has organised a Two-Day High-Level Symposium for Government officials in the Federal Ministries of Education, Youths and Sports, Women Affairs and Social Development, as well as National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and National Orientation Agency (NOA).
The two-day symposium, which was held in Abuja from 29-30 November 2018, was aimed at sensitising the participating agencies on mainstreaming Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism into their respective programmes and to develop modalities for conducting PCVE Sensitization Workshop for Youth Corps Members.
The Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, Rear Admiral YEM Musa who represented the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) stated that the NYSC Sensitisation Programme became important because youths are more vulnerable than any group as targets of violent extremists. The Coordinator, reiterated the overarching principle driving the implementation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which is based on Whole –of- Government and Whole –of- Society Approach, and therefore encouraged participation of all stakeholders including youths and women in implementing the Policy. It would be recalled that following the Presidential endorsement of the Policy Framework, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are expected to mainstream the Policy Framework into their annual programmes and ensure implementation.
The UNDP/PVE project Coordinator, Major General Salihu Uba (rtd) stated that the Sensitisation Programme is one of the areas in which UNDP is supporting Nigeria’s vision in curtailing and countering the spread of Violent Extremism. It is envisaged that the programme would increase the level of advocacy and awareness in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), devoting more resources and capacity to reorient the teeming youths in NYSC camps to identify, mitigate and weaken attraction for extreme ideological ideas.
Similarly, the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari commended the initiative and assured of NOA’s support to drive the programme. He called on ONSA and UNDP to replicate the symposium at Zonal level in order to build capacity of Chief Orientation and Mobilisation Officers of the Agency.