A cross section participants at the Workshop


The Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), held a 4-day Workshop on Strategic Communications for Disengagement, Disassociation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) processes in the Northeast Nigeria for government officials from Tuesday 8 to Friday 11 February, 2022 in Abuja.
The strategic training workshop climaxed the Communications for Defections and Reintegration project implemented with the support of the US Department of State and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations (CSO) which began in August 2020. It provided an ample opportunity for participants who were drawn from Government functionaries from the Federal level in Abuja and the 3 States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, otherwise referred to as the BAY States to obtain recommendations and next steps for the dissemination of Communications Plan in DDRR and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
In his remarks at the Workshop, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), represented by the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser, Rear Admiral YEM Musa recognised the need for accurate dissemination of information to Nigerians and the International community at a time the nation is witnessing a mass defection of ex- Non- State Armed Groups (NSAGs) to the society.
He stressed that the Government of Nigeria (GoN) has also noted the limits of a purely military solution to the Security challenge in the Northeast and sought to adopt a more holistic approach, granting importance to elements of strategic communications and sensitisation. He added that Priority has been given to activities intended to support the reintegration of former associates of NSAGs and to restore social cohesion at the local level. According to him, this culminated in the enactment by the President of Nigeria, the Policy Framework and the National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in 2017 and also revised the country’s National Security Strategy accordingly in 2019.
In his own address, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Franz Clestine, represented by the Disengagement Disassociation Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) Programme Manager, Maria Quintero noted that the project was inscribed in the framework of the DDRR Action Plan, adopted by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Ministry of Justice and the Defence Headquarter in 2017; adding that the project has a broader scope as it aimed to support the Government, and especially the Office of the National Security Adviser, in its efforts to prevent violent extremism and promote DDRR processes.
Some of the take homes from the Workshop included but not limited to the following:
i. It has further enhanced the capacities of strategic government officials to disseminate accurate information with the communities concerning DDRR and PVE policies and implementing strategic Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms for their communication strategies.
ii. The participating States and Federal MDAs were encouraged to own the Communications Plan for Defections and Reintegration project by domesticating it in their various domains.
iii. More efforts are to be put in place to improve PCVE activities in Nigeria while youths are to be encouraged to engage in more productive activities rather than engaging in Violent Extremism.

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