President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday launched the Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at the Council Chambers, of the State House in Abuja, reaffirming Government’s commitment in addressing all the root causes of violent extremism in the country.
While speaking during the launch of the new policy document, the President stated that, as a free, peaceful and enterprising nation, majority of Nigerians were against the twisted ideology of terrorists. “This Policy Framework and National Action Plan is a complementary approach developed through consultation with Nigerians in and out of Government. We are committed, also, to implement the Framework through a Whole-of -society approach involving all Nigerians” the President said.
He further noted that through the immense sacrifices of the Nigeria Armed Forces and Security Agencies, Boko Haram has been massively decimated and pushed out of communities where they had found sanctuary. “We must now, working together, focus on rooting out hate, misinterpretation of religion and violence in our society”. He added.
The President, however, called on stakeholders at the State and Local Governments to emulate the Federal Government by developing Action Plans for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at the grassroots. The President equally urged Civil Society Organizations and International Institutions to be guided by the principles enshrined in the Policy Framework and National Action Plan.
On his part, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd.), disclosed that Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world that have developed the Policy Framework, which was showcased on the Sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly held in September 2017, in New York.
He explained further that the country’s effort was overwhelmingly appreciated during the Global Solutions Exchange Side Event, where several donors indicated their willingness to partner with Nigeria in implementing the National Action Plan.
According to the National Security Adviser, the Policy Framework and National Action Plan rested on four major objectives which dictates its priority components. These areas include: Strengthening institutions and coordination in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, Strengthening the Rule of Law, Access to Justice and Human Rights, Engaging Communities and Building Resilience, and Integrating Strategic Communication in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Programmes.
The Policy and National Action Plan were collaborative efforts which involved wide consultations within and outside the country.