Launching of a project by UNODC in Abuja

UNODC LAUNCHES PROJECT TO STRENGTHEN CAPACITY OF NIGERIA TO COLLECT EVIDENCE, PROSECUTE TERRORISM, OTHERS IN ABUJA

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) on 15th June, 2022, launched a project titled ‘Strengthening the capacity of Nigeria to collect evidence and more effectively prosecute terrorism and other serious crimes with respect to the rule of law,’ funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the United States of America.

At the event, the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Rear Admiral YEM Musa (rtd) thanked the UNODC for coming up with such a laudable project.

The Coordinator who was represented by a Staff Officer in ONSA, Mr. Dennis Ozioko noted that the project which aimed to support the efforts of the federal and state authorities to hold culprits of violence and other forms of criminal activity to account, would further support Nigeria to successfully prosecute serious criminal offences, including terrorism, committed in North East Nigeria, through improved collection and utilisation of potential evidential material, inclusive of serious criminal cases brought before State and Federal Courts.

   “As Nigeria continues to take important steps towards countering violent extremism particularly in the North East, the unwavering support, partnership and the collaborative efforts of UNODC over the years underscore our unique drive to combat the global menace bedeviling our global space,” he said.

He assured the UNODC, European Union (EU) and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and all the nation’s strategic partners that Nigeria would always be committed to this partnership which was geared towards strengthening Nigeria’s criminal justice measures against terrorist threat of various armed groups in compliance with the rule of law and fully respecting human rights.

A cross section of some of the participants at the meeting.

STRIVE JUVENILE: ONSA, UNODC HOST BI-ANNUAL PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING IN ABUJA

To further foster a whole of society approach and build resilience of children and their environment to the practices of terrorist and violent  extremism  groups, the Office  of the National  Security  Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the United Nations  Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted a one-day Bi-annual STRIVE Juvenile National Project Steering Committee Meeting  in Abuja on 12th May, 2022.

Objectives of the meeting were to present the STRIVE Juvenile project second national work plan and seek feedback from relevant  Ministries Departments  and Agencies  (MDAs) as well as to provide an overview on the project progress from inception  to date.

In his remarks, the Coordinator, Counter  Terrorism  Centre, Office  of the National  Security  Adviser, Rear Admiral YEM Musa (rtd), represented by the Staff Officer 1 in  the Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) Unit, ONSA, Mr. Dennis Ozioko noted that Nigeria, over the past decade, has been in the frontline in the fight against terrorism and also that the country has  witnessed some of the cruellest forms of child recruitment by terrorist groups, with thousands of  children abducted, starved, killed in fights, enslaved, even used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram and its splinter faction.

He added that the country had a firm stance on counter terrorism, so her  strategy has evolved to increasingly focus on addressing root causes and  preventing violent extremism from the ground up, through whole of government and whole of society approaches. “This has been the priority of the Policy Framework on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism ( PCVE),” the Coordinator  said.

Rear Admiral  Musa (rtd) expressed the delight  of the Nigerian Government to partner with the European Union (EU) and  UNODC in the implementation of the STRIVE Juvenile project. The project according to him, allows an opportunity to make ending child recruitment and exploitation a priority in the context of the Nigerian PCVE approach.

This is necessary and urgent. We are especially supportive of the initiatives that allow us to garner a better understanding of the trajectories of children when they join and also when they leave the groups; of the initiatives that support the different stakeholders in promoting coordinated approaches and of the activities that aim to raise awareness around the dangers and consequences of child recruitmenthe stressed.

He urged participants to come up with robust decisions that would further aid the country’s preparedness to Preventing and responding to the menace of violence against children by terrorist and violent extremist groups at all levels of government, particularly at the state and the local government levels.

Also in his remarks,  the European  Union (EU) Country  Representative,  Mr. Jerome Riviere who lauded  the partnership of his Organisation  and the Office of the National  Security Adviser, called for prioritisation of STRIVE Juvenile at the International and national committee levels.

Aligning  with the earlier  speakers,  the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Representative,  Mr. Oliver Stolpe attributed the success  story of the STRIVE  Juvenile  Project in Nigeria so far to the strong commitment of the Federal  Government  through  the Office  of  the  National  Security  Adviser.

STRIVE  Juvenile  is a new, three year project funded by the European  Union that foresees activities  at the global level and in three partner countries: Indonesia,  Iraq and Nigeria. It aims to prevent  and counter violent  extremism affecting  children,  in full respect of human rights, gender equality, national and international  law.

Highlight  of the meeting was the validation of the Second National Workplan for the STRIVE  Juvenile  Project  in Nigeria.

Some of the representatives from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

UNODC New Training Module being unveiled in Abuja.

NIGERIA, UNODC UNVEIL NEW TRAINING MODULE ON INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWING, CRIMINAL JUSTICE

A new Training Module on “investigative interviewing, the right to remain silent and the prohibition of torture” has been unveiled in Abuja on Friday, 18th March, 2022.

The new training module is believed to further strengthen Nigeria’s partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in support for the nation’s Criminal Justice, Responses to Terrorism and Violent Extremism. The Project is funded by the European Union (EU)under the EU-Nigeria-UNODC-CTED partnership project III.  

The Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Rear Admiral Y.E.M Musa (Rtd) was among very important personalities at the event. Others include Professor M.T. Ladan, Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS); Mr. Jèrôme Riviére, EU Peace and Security Programme Manager, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS; Mr. Oliver Stolpe, representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office in Nigeria, among others.

Presenting his opening remarks, the Coordinator hailed the launching of the new training module by UNODC, saying it was a significant milestone in the operations of the organisation in its collaborative efforts to support the Nigerian Government in countering violent extremism as well as promoting criminal justice and the rule of law.

According to Rear Admiral Musa (Rtd), “this training module, I am very confident, will provide veritable tools for training Nigerian Judges, public prosecutors, investigators and other law enforcement officials, legal advisers of law enforcement agencies and defence lawyers to better position our criminal justice and rule of law.

He emphasised that this was coming up at a very auspicious time in Nigeria when the narrative was taking a new dimension with the latest development where non-state armed combatants are laying down their arms in their numbers.

As Nigeria continues to take important steps towards countering violent extremism particularly in the North East, the unwavering support, partnership and the collaborative efforts of UNODC over the years underscore our unique drive to combat the global menace bedeviling our global space,” he stressed.

The Coordinator, on behalf of the Government of Nigeria, assured the UNODC, European Union (EU) and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and all the nation’s strategic partners that Nigeria would always be committed to this partnership which was geared towards strengthening Nigeria’s criminal justice measures against terrorist threat of various armed groups in compliance with the rule of law and fully respecting human rights.

ONSA team in a group photograph with UNOTC Delegation to Nigeria

FG HOLDS TOP-LEVEL ENGAGEMENTS WITH UNOCT ON THREAT ASSESSMENT MODELS

The Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) held a three-day on-site engagements with a delegation of the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) led by Ms Rachel Manis, Head -UN Programme on Threat Assessment Models (TAM) from Tuesday 1 to Thrusday 3 March, 2022 in Abuja.

Senior-level decision makers from ONSA (including National Intelligence Agency; Directorate of State Security Service); Ministry of Interior, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Aviation; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria; Ministry of Defence; and Nigeria Customs joined in the discussion. The Nigerian team was led by the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser, Rear Admiral YEM Musa (rtd).

Among the objectives of the roundtable were to confirm the importance of national cooperation to prevent and counter terrorist threats to civil aviation; introduce stakeholders to programme objectives; secure top-level buy-in from all relevant government entities; and clarify senior executive-level role throughout the implementation process.

The Coordinator,  Counter  Terrorism  Centre,  ONSA,  Rear Admiral  YEM  Musa  (rtd) (3rd Left), Leader of UNOCT  Delagation, Ms Rachel Manis (Middle),  Head NACTEST, ONSA, Mr JD Jakubu (2nd Left), Head PCVE ONSA,  Mrs Mairo Musa Abbas (2nd rightt), DD Stratcom CTC, ONSA, Mr. Segun Imohiosen (1st Right) and others, at the gathering.
The Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA, Rear Admiral YEM Musa (rtd) (3rd Left), Leader of UNOCT Delagation, Ms Rachel Manis (Middle),  Head NACTEST, ONSA, Mr JD Jakubu (2nd Left), Head PCVE ONSA, Mrs Mairo Musa Abbas (2nd rightt), DD Stratcom CTC, ONSA, Mr. Segun Imohiosen (1st Right) and others, at the gathering.

The outputs of these engagements are believed to feed into a holistic desk review and inform the Programme’s recommendations for the model that best fits the Government of Nigeria’s operational requirements, as well as the path for implementing the new structure.

The TAM Programme delivers training and technical assistance via an Integrated Project Team (IPT), which comprises operational-level personnel who serve as focal points from each participating agency.

The UNOCT Delegation was joined by Dr. Raffi Gregorian, Deputy to the Under Secretary General for UNOCT.

Participants at Masterclass V held in Kano from 22-24 February, 2022 in a group photograph.

MASTERCLASS V: ONSA, THE NETHERLANDS REAFFIRM COMMITMENT TO PCVE IN NIGERIA

Representative of the Executive Governor of Kano State and the SSG of the State, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, giving his remarks at the opening ceremony of Masterclass V held in Kano from 22-24 February, 2022
Representative of the Executive Governor of Kano State and the SSG of the State, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, giving his remarks at the opening ceremony of Masterclass V held in Kano from 22-24 February, 2022

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Government of the Netherlands has reaffirmed its commitment to Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism in the Northwestern part of Nigeria in particular and the nation in general, so as to address security challenges.
The Head, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Mrs. Mairo Musa Abbas disclosed this during a workshop, tagged Masterclass V on preventing and countering violent extremism in the Northwestern states of the Nation, organised by the office of the National security Adviser in collaboration with the Government of the Netherlands, held in Kano from 22-24 February, 2022.
Mario Abbas on behalf of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) explained that the objectives of the Masterclass V for kano, Kaduna, Katsina, and Sokoto were to  understand and apply key PVE concepts, tools and approaches in decision making and implementation; understand the Counter Terrorism and P/CVE Plan of Action and approach of Nigeria and make the link to the state level; among others.
She maintained that with regards to the challenges experienced in combating terrorism and other forms of extreme violence, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided that the kinetic approach alone cannot eradicate the threat.
To this effect, the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for PCVE was developed in 2017. This policy framework adopts the non-kinetic or soft approach comprising of “Whole-of-Government” and a “Whole-of-Society approach” as Nigeria’s strategy to encourage the active participation of all stakeholders in building networks of peace for safer and resilient communities across Nigeria,” she said.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji said the workshop was very timely, especially in this era the nation is facing security Challenges.
He said his administration had embarked on sensitization and enlightenment campaigns through sermons in religious institutions aimed at channeling the minds of youth against extremism and terrorism.
Earlier, the Ambassador of Netherlands Harry Van Dijk represented by Ayinde Soule said the workshop was the fifth edition of the Masters class organized by the Office of the NSA and the Government of the Netherlands aimed at enhancing security in the country.
The workshop was attended by Participants from Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, and the Sokoto States.

From Right: Co-founder and Deputy Director of the of Human Security Collective (HSC), Fulco van Deventer; Coordinator, CTC, ONSA, Rear Adm. YEM Musa; Dep. Head of Mission, Embassy of the Netherlands, Abuja, Amb. Ewout de Wit and Mrs Mairo Musa Abbas, Head PCVE, ONSA.

NIGERIA, THE NETHERLANDS HOLD MASTERCLASS IV TO REVIEW NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR PCVE


As part of efforts to further stimulate the existing collaboration between the Government of Nigeria and its partners towards ensuring peace and stability in the country, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in partnership with the Government of the Netherlands is holding a Masterclass IV for the Steering Committee on the Implementation of the Policy Framework for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) in Abuja from 15 to 18 February, 2022.
The objectives of the Masterclass IV are to review the National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism; to understand and apply key concepts, tools and approaches in decision making and implementation; to strengthen Preventing Violent Extremism Leadership Dialogue across sectors and shape decision making, among others.
Declaring the Workshop open on behalf of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa (Rtd) Coordinator, Counter-Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), noted that “the multidimensional nature and complexity of terrorists’ activities require multidimensional approaches involving all stakeholders”
The Coordinator further stated that “the development and implementation of a Policy Framework  prioritize the strengthening of institutions and coordination; access to justice, rule of law, and human rights approaches; engaging communities and building resilience; and integrating strategic communications in PCVE Programmes.” To enhance the coordination of implementation of the PCVE Framework and Action Plan, the Government constituted the PCVE National Action Plan Steering Committee and a functional Secretariat reflecting the broad range of stakeholders across Government and Civil Society according to the guiding principles stated in Part Two of the Policy Framework. The Committee is designed to ensure an integrated, coordinated, comprehensive and adaptive approach in implementation of the plan at various levels of government from national, states and local governments.

The Coordinator said that Master Class 4 was a continuation of earlier ones commencing with Masterclass I held in Kaduna 2017, Masterclass II in Maiduguri 2018 and Masterclass III also held in Abuja in 2021. These series of workshops have been organized to build the capacities of stakeholders for effective implementation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for PCVE in the country.

He noted that the Policy Framework for PCVE recognised the integrated roles of government agencies with all stakeholders in the larger society as critical to full implementation of a Whole of Government and a Whole-of-Society approaches to combating terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria.
According to him, the PCVE Policy encourages the active participation of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, as well as critical stakeholders from different sectors of the civil society such as religious actors, youth, teachers, women, law enforcement, the media and civil and community based organisations. “This is essential in order to build networks of peace that create safe and resilient communities across Nigeria, in which human rights and the rule of law guide the approach to combating violent extremism,” he stressed.
The Coordinator also stated that “the Masterclasses were collaborative initiatives designed to directly support the attainment of the four core objectives of the PCVE policy by strengthening institutional capacity towards its implementation.
He commended the Government of the Netherlands for its support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, adding that ONSA would build on the gains of the collaboration which have been achieved over time.
In his own remarks, the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Henry Van Dijk, represented by the Deputy Head of Mission, Mr Ewout de Wit, commended ONSA and team of experts for their commitment to countering violent extremism in Nigeria.
The Envoy said that addressing violent extremism as well as the security challenges in the West African sub-region as a whole was a common task that bound both countries together as well as the international community.
He said it was important for government and civil society to work together towards proffering lasting solutions to combat violent extremism, saying that there could not be development and prosperity without security.
According to him, the Netherlands would remain a reliable partner in this fight, not only in Nigeria, but also in the wider sub-region and the world.

A cross section participants at the Workshop

ONSA, NOA, OPSC HOLD 4-DAY STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP ON DDRR PROCESSES FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC), supported by multiple partners including 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-Friday 11 February 2022 in Abuja.
In his remarks, 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 noted that the Workshop was necessitated by 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.
“This Workshop provides an opportunity to obtain recommendations and next steps for the dissemination of the Communications Plan in DDRR and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) developed by IOM and other UN agencies as being implemented by the government of Nigeria, under ONSA’s coordination,” Monguno said.
The NSA stressed that the Northeast has been stirred by a violent conflict and the presence of Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs), namely Boko Haram, in the past decade. According to him, beyond disrupting local communities and fostering an atmosphere of fear, these NSAGs have led to the mass displacement of civilians both within Nigeria, with over 2.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs), and to neighbouring countries, with some 360,000 refugees that had fled to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The activities of NSAGs have also undermined local economic structures and an already underperforming labour market.
He added that the Government of Nigeria (GoN) has recognised the limits of a purely military solution to the conflict and sought to adopt a more holistic approach, granting importance to elements of strategic communications and sensitisation. 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.
“To this effect, the President of Nigeria enacted the Policy Framework and the National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in 2017 and revised the country’s National Security Strategy accordingly in 2019,” he reiterated.
The National Security Adviser, on behalf of the Nigerian Government appreciated the support of all the UN agencies, particularly, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for championing the ongoing implementation of a project to improve the communications strategy related to the rehabilitation, reintegration, and reconciliation processes.
Also in the remarks of IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, Franz Clestine, represented by the IOM Nigeria Disengagement Disassociation Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) Programme Manager, Maria Quintero hinted that “This strategic training workshop is the last and final phase of 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) in Nigeria.”
According to him, the project is 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 has 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.
The 4 -day strategic training workshop which drew participants from Federal and State governments agencies from the Federal Capital Territory and 3 Bay States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, centred around enhancing 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.

Participants at the townhall meeting in a group photograph.

PREVENTING, COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM: ONSA, OPSC AND NOA HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING IN GOMBE

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), has held a one-day town hall meeting in Gombe, Gombe State, as part of the ongoing efforts to discuss and share information about Disengagement, Disassociation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) programming and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Nigeria.

The event which took place on Tuesday 31st August, 2021 formed part of the Federal Government’s initiative for Reintegration and Reconciliation in the Northeast Nigeria, supported by multiple partners including the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) noted that the meeting provided an opportunity for  local communities to share their concerns regarding the return and reintegration of former low-risk associates of Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) while giving the Government an opportunity to address these concerns and promote the importance of reintegration as part of the DDRR programme.

ONSA recognised the critical role communities and local leaders play in the DDRR process and thanked participants for sharing their perspectives. ONSA encouraged their continued support for reintegration as part of the Government’s efforts to address insecurity in Northeast communities.

Participants at the event included the representatives of ONSA, IOM, Gombe State Government, Religious and Traditional leaders, Civil Societies and other stakeholders.

NSA, Babagana Monguno (far right) at a meeting with the USG of UNOCT, Vladimir Voronkov (Middle) in New York, recently.

NIGERIA REAFFIRMS ITS COMMITMENT TO WORK WITH UNOCT, CTED AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO COMBAT TERRORISM


As part of measures to neutralise activities of terrorists and insurgents in the country, the National Security Adviser, (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd) has said Nigeria would continue to work with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the international community on efforts to combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism as well as in rendering humanitarian support for victims of terrorism in the country.
Monguno, at a meeting with Under Secretary-General (USG) of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, on the margins of the ongoing UN General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States sought the assurance of the international community in supporting the continued and sustained efforts of the Nigerian government in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The meeting was a follow-up of an earlier one at the United Nations Counter Terrorism Week held at the UN Headquarters in June, 2021. It highlighted the prevailing humanitarian challenges caused by the over a decade of combating terrorism with millions of displaced persons as well as other militating factors including proliferation of small arms and light weapons, irregular migration as well as abuse of illicit drugs.
NSA called for increased regional cooperation and harmonisation of all counter terrorism legislations, policies and strategies, especially with Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
Part of the resolutions from the meeting was the need for further collaborations in the areas of improving aviation and maritime security, strengthening border security management, combating terrorism financing as well as improving the coordination of Civil Society Organisations’ engagements in preventing and countering violent extremism in Nigeria.
Earlier, the NSA at a similar meeting with the Assistant Secretary-General (ASG)/Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), Michèle Coninsx, exchanged views on current terrorist threats and challenges in Nigeria, Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel and how to address them.
The NSA expressed Nigeria’s progress in combating terrorism and violent extremism, supporting victims of terrorism, deradicalization and prosecution of suspected terrorists as well as the need for CTED sustained support to Nigeria particularly in humanitarian assistance to victims and capacity building in criminal justice responses to terrorism.

NSA, Rtd Maj. General Babagana Monguno  (Right) at a meeting and the ASG/Executive Director of CTED, Michele Coninsx recently
NSA, Rtd Maj. General Babagana Monguno (Right) after a meeting with the ASG/Executive Director of CTED, Michèle Coninsx, in New York, recently.

Participants and facilitators at the Master Class in a group photograph

NIGERIA, THE NETHERLANDS HOLD MASTERCLASS TO STRENGTHEN IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY FRAMEWORK, NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR PCVE

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the Government of the Netherland is holding a 3-day Masterclass themed: ‘Strengthening Nigeria’s Implementation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism,‘ in Abuja.

The workshop which drew participants from various strata of the society commenced on Wednesday 20th October, 2021 and is expected to close on Friday 22nd October, 2021.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to strengthen its collaboration with critical partners worldwide towards addressing the menace of terrorism and violent extremism in the country.

Monguno who was represented by the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Rear Admiral YEM Musa, noted that the training was designed to further stimulate the existing collective and collaborative efforts of the Government of Nigeria and partners towards ensuring peace and stability in the country.

This workshop is borne of the harrowing experience caused by the non-state armed groups who have continued to unleash terror, killing innocent citizens, as well as the untoward activities of these insurgents and the terrorists group particularly in the North East of the country which have to a very large extent, debilitated economic activities in the country and led to the displacement of people and communities,” he said.

According to him, “It is not in doubt that the take-away from previous Masterclasses organised for Senior Officials of the Government of Nigeria and State Governments in collaboration with the Government of Netherlands have had huge impact on our national efforts to addressing and combating violent extremism at different levels in the country. In fact, the calibre of senior officers of government that participated in these past episodes of this Master Class are much better informed in the implementing the Policy Frame Work and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE).”

The NSA added that as a nation which has experienced challenges in combating terrorism and other forms of extreme violence and their devastating effects, Nigeria has realised that Kinetic approach alone cannot adequately eradicate the threat, therefore, the Government has also adopted a non-kinetic approach by developing a Policy Framework and National Action Plan for PCVE.

The Policy Framework, he stressed, recognises the integrated roles of government agencies with the larger society as critical by adopting a “Whole-of-Government” and a “Whole-of-Society approach.”

He reiterated that the workshop was not only well-timed but also of a very consequential and momentous impact on Nigeria owing to the recent development in the country where repentant insurgents are laying down their arms in large numbers and coming out from the hoods in prodigious numbers too. “It is therefore, opportunistic for all participants at this occasion to take advantage and leverage on the exchanges that would take place in these few days to further help in addressing the issue of terrorism in the country,” he stated.

Monguno expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation to the Delegation and the Government of Netherlands for their unalloyed and unwavering support for Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

In his remarks, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Nigeria, Harry Van Dijk noted that Security was very strategic and critical for national development. He therefore pledged the continued support of his country for Nigeria to overcome the challenges of insecurity in the country.