PVE Validation Picture

ONSA, UNDP to Activate Community-Based Platforms for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is putting measures in place to activate Community- Based Platforms for Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism across the country. 

This was disclosed on Thursday 19 March, 2020 in Abuja by representative of the National Security Adviser, Mrs Aisha Garba who is the Head of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at the Counter Terrorism Centre, during a validation meeting of the study on Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and selected states in Nigeria. The validation demonstrated the depth of commitment by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to addressing the threat of violent extremism in the country. 

The Community-Based Platforms for PCVE is a priority identified by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It will involve integration of Strategic Communication into PCVE through advocacy and dialogue across the states to prevent violent extremism through partnership with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. 

The is part of efforts towards the implementation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism launched in 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari. The project will further deepen the ongoing efforts at engaging communities and building resilience across the country. 

Chemical Abuse

Nigerian Government Initiates Strategies to Checkmate Criminal Elements from Chemical Abuse

The Nigerian Government has initiated strategies to regulate criminal elements including terrorists from accessing chemical substances that could be used for explosive devices.

This was disclosed at a five-day conference on National Chemical Security in Abuja with the theme: ‘Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria’.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General, Babagana Monguno (Rtd.), who was represented by the Coordinator Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA, Rear Admiral, YEM Musa, said the increasing spate of attacks by terrorists in the region is linked to the use of hard drugs.

The Coordinator stated that “in response to this ugly phenomenon, we have extended our counter IED efforts beyond control of explosives and precursor materials to include the human aspect of the threat, which is the motivational factor.

“We have identified that most of these violent crimes, such as person-borne IEDs, are perpetrated under the influence of drugs.’’ He added that to curtail the surge in drug-related violent extremism and others, “the Centre had included certain drugs often abused and their various precursors as chemicals of concerns.”

CCTC further said that those drugs required strict control measures for their importation, manufacture, distribution, storage and usage. He revealed that Nigeria has included counter IED initiatives in its National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST).

The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, represented by Rear Admiral A B Adamu, assured Nigerians of the role of the Navy to checkmate the importation of harmful chemicals to the country.

In her remarks, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the time has come for the Federal Government to declare emergency in the drug and chemical sectors of the country’s economy in view of its porous borders.

Also, Mr. David Centofante of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) emphasized the need for collective effort to control the use of chemicals. He added that such effort was necessary to prevent such substances from getting into the hands of criminal elements and terrorists.

chemical sec

Preventing Chemical Abuse: Experts Seek Regulation of Chemical Sales and Movement

As part of measures to combat chemical abuse, the Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser has issued a communique where it was said that operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and control be deployed in land borders, seaports and airports.

The communique which was issued on Friday 16 March 2018, after a Chemical Security Training Conference in Abuja, stated that such measure was to check the increasing smuggling of chemical weapons, harmful drugs and substances into the country by criminal elements.

The conference was organised by the Counter Terrorism Centre at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), in collaboration with the Chemical Security Programme (CSP).

The Communique revealed that it was also agreed that officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service must be trained on recognising explosives, accessories, drugs, narcotics, fertilisers and other chemicals of concerns.

The communique issued at the end of the training conference partly read “Considering the increase in cases of smuggling of harmful drugs, narcotics and other chemicals of concerns into Nigeria, it is agreed that NAFDAC and NDLEA should be deployed at the airports, seaports and other land ports in Nigeria, to work with other border agencies in chemical anti-smuggling enforcement.

Conscious of the need to enhance knowledge in identification of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, explosives and fertilizers on the part of the border agencies, it was agreed that NCS, NIS, AVSEC and NPA personnel deployed at all land, sea and air border posts should be given awareness on explosives, accessories, drugs, narcotics, fertilizers and other chemicals of concerns.”

Speaking at the closing of the training conference, The National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General, Babagana Monguno (Rtd.), who was represented by the Coordinator Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA, Rear Admiral, YEM Musa, said the detection of drugs and chemical weapons could only be done by well-trained and motivated personnel from the security and relevant regulatory agencies.

The NSA further explained that to defeat the Improved Explosive Device networks of criminal elements and insurgents, the acquisition process and other critical phases needed to be effectively disrupted.

Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CCTC), Commodore YEM Musa addressing participants at the recently held NACTEST Secure Pillar quarterly meeting and training workshop held in Abuja.

National Security Adviser Urges Ministries Departments and Agencies to Establish National Counter Terrorism Strategy Desks

As part of measures to intensify effort in the fight against terrorism through the Whole-of-Society Approach, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) recently convened a three-day quarterly meeting and training workshop of National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) Secure Pillar to strengthen capacity of the members of National Working Group.

In his keynote address at the event, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to establish desks to drive NACTEST implementation.

The National Security Adviser, who was represented by Brigadier General Emmanuel Ndagi, explained that the NACTEST document which was launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhar i(GCFR), recognised MDAs, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and other critical stakeholders as its driving force.

He commended NIMASA for partnering with ONSA to convene the workshop as well as the Agency’s contribution towards the fight against terrorism and general insecurity especially in the maritime domain within the country. He furthermore, called on other MDAs to emulate NIMASA by taking practical steps towards implementation of the NACTEST Document in their respective Agencies.

L-R Head NACTEST at Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC) Mr. Alhassan Hussain, representatives of the EU Delegation in Nigeria Mr. Uwe Brettschnader and Principal Staff Officer Liaison-Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser, Lt Col. Umar F Abubakar.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, represented by Mr. Ali Ndabawa said every effort in the fight against terrorism was required for the overall success of the counter terrorism strategy. He called for collaboration and synergy amongst security agencies as a panacea to defeat terrorism in Nigeria.

The Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CCTC), Office of the National Security Adviser, Commodore YEM Musa, reaffirmed ONSA’s unflinching support towards all initiatives aimed at combating terrorism and violent extremism in the country.

He appealed to participants at the workshop to put into practice what they have learnt during a three-day training workshop in order to advance the security in the country.

policy framework

President Muhammadu Buhari launches Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

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.

From left: The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Mohammed Monguno (Retired), Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and representative of Chief of Defence Staff, Major General  A Mohammed at the Public Presentation of Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Abuja on Tuesday.

Nigerian Government Presents Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism to Members of the Public

The Nigerian Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on Tuesday 13 February 2018, presented the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism to members of the public. The public presentation which took place in Abuja was attended by top government officials including the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Minister of Information and Culture.  

On 24 August 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Presidential Directive to the Policy Framework and National Action for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism which was then launched on the 28 November, 2017.

Speaking at the public presentation, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lia Mohhammed emphasized Government’s commitment to work closely with all the core constituencies, as defined in the Policy Framework. He added that Ministry of Information and Culture was committed to develop narratives and communication strategies that will completely dismantle and neutralize Boko Haram ideology and messages.

The Minister disclosed that at least 30,000 hostages kidnapped by the Boko Haram extremist group, including women and Children, have been rescued by the military. He added that, more than 100 Chibok girls have so far been rescued. He also restated government’s commitment to the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls, who will be rehabilitated and reunited with their families and communities.

 The minister further averred that “part of its soft approach in tackling security challenges, our administration is engaging in dialogue with different key stakeholders in order to find possible and lasting solutions to the issue of herder-farmer conflicts, which is one of the security challenges we face today”.

While stressing the critical role of the media in the fight against violent extremism, he applauded the Nigerian Media for the role they have played, and continue to play, in the fight against the extremists group, and urged them to sustain this momentum.

In his key note address, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (Retired) said government would continue to take steps that would strengthen the Law Enforcement and Security Agencies in Nigeria to deal with the threats to national security.  

He stated that Government would not work in isolation, adding that “we require research, community engagement, involvement of the Civil Society and all stakeholders to play key roles in building a peaceful and secure country. Across the Lake Chad, we are also working with our neighbors to address common challenges”.

The National Security Adviser informed that in line with President Buhari’s focus on transparency, accountability and the rule of law, Nigeria decided to build a Policy framework that will ensure institutionalization and mainstreaming of preventing and countering violent extremism across Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government. He disclosed that Nigeria was one of the few countries in the world that have developed the Policy Framework.

“In developing the Policy Framework, Government did not work in isolation. With a Memorandum of Understanding between the NSA Office and the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, key stakeholders through a National Working Group were engaged. The National Working Group consisted of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, Media, Labour, Students and the academic community”. The NSA stated.

Speaking earlier at the event, the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CCTC) Commodore YEM Musa noted that the Policy Framework, had gone through series of consultations. He added that the National Working Group which include Government MDAs, Faith Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations, women and youth contributed in shaping the ideas of the plans. “Through the policy formulation process, we learnt from each other and sharpened our understanding of the root causes of violent extremism as it applies to Nigeria. We reviewed research materials and ensured that the policy is evidence –based”, CCTC added.

The Policy Framework which will be implemented over the next three years, through the combined efforts of Governments and the Civil Society in a complementary Whole-of-Society approach, rests on four major objectives which are; 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 Programme.

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Press Release on the Capacity-building Workshop on Dealing with Non-State Armed Groups, 24th-26th October 2017, Chelsea Hotel, Abuja

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), and the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria, convened a three-day Workshop aimed at building the capacity of relevant Nigerian government officials on how to deal with non-state armed groups (NSAG-s), at the Chelsea Hotel, Abuja from 24th-26th October 2017. The Workshop participants were drawn from Nigeria’s security agencies, relevant Ministries and Parastatals, such as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Ministries of Defence, Justice and Interior, as well as the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT). Attended by specialists with expertise on countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, the Lake Chad area, as well as Nigeria’s Niger Delta area, the three-day workshop afforded participants the opportunity to:

• reflect on the emergence and evolution of NSAG-s in Nigeria (root causes, enabling conditions, pathways to violence), and the range of non-military tools deployed by the state in response;
• review applicable international humanitarian law, as it relates to NSAG-s in Nigeria; review case studies of other countries (Indonesia, Afghanistan and Somalia) that have engaged armed insurgent groups and extract lessons from those experiences;
• explore best practices related to mediation and negotiation with armed insurgent groups and the reintegration of non-state armed groups as an incentive for dialogue facilitation;
• reflect on some of the critical considerations that inform engagement with NSAG-S, particularly in terms of timing, propitious conditions for launching such efforts, means to test and sustain windows of opportunity, as well as possible ways to calibrate and coordinate the different facets of government response (military, intelligence, dialogue, etc.), and;
• reflect on the regional dimensions of insurgencies in Nigeria, especially as they relate to the search for comprehensive solutions.

In their opening statements at the workshop, the conveners, H.E Eric Mayoraz, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Commodore Y.E.M Musa, Coordinator Counterterrorism Centre in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Nigeria, as well as Ms. Meredith Preston-McGhie, Africa Regional Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), all expressed the timeliness of the workshop and stressed the need to consider the use of dialogue as a useful tool for engaging NSAG-s.

In the course of the workshop, participants benefitted from the experiences shared on the various case studies by the lead discussants/resource persons, with the expectation that the shared experiences would impact upon the participants’ perception of – as senior representatives of various government MDAs – and approaches to dealing with NSAG-s. The exchange of ideas between the resource persons and the participants stimulated thoughts and helped them to generate new policy ideas for government’s efforts in dealing with NSAG-s in Nigeria.

At the end of the three-day workshop, a number of far-reaching conclusions necessary to ensure better engagement of NSAG-s by relevant security agencies were arrived at. Some of them include the following:

• the critical importance of policymakers’ possession of political will in order to effectively address the various threats to peace and stability in Nigeria;
• the need to create an enabling environment for political dialogue between state actors and NSAG-s;
• the importance of commitment and consensus-building by state actors in dealing with NSAG-s;
• the need to enhance the capacity of security actors in understanding and utilizing various dialogue tools;
• in seeking to utilize dialogue as a tool of engagement, the need to attempt to determine the end goals and objectives from the onset;
• the need to bridge the divide between the academic community and practice, when it comes to peace and security matters, as well as;
• the need to have a clear definition of what type of actors to engage in dialogue.

In his closing remarks at the end of the three-day workshop, Commodore YEM Musa, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of Switzerland, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), and staff of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), as well as the experts and participants, from Nigeria MDAs and Strategic institutions for the thought-provoking and engaging workshop.

violent extremism

Violent Extremism: An Impediment to Make Democracy Work – Obasanjo

Former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo has described violent extremism as one of the impediments that could prevent democracy from working. The former President stated this while speaking at the two-day workshop organised by Club De Madrid (CdM) in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and supported by European Union (UE), with the theme “Preventing Violent Extremism in Nigeria: Effective Narratives and Messaging.”

Chief Obasanjo said if grievances are not immediately resolved, it could ensue to violence. He, however, called on government to adopt a stick and carrot approach in its fight against violent extremism.

The Workshop, which was held in Abuja, Nigeria from 23-24 May 2017 was aimed at providing a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between national policies and local realities, advance multi-stakeholder dialogue and develop effective alternative narrative in Nigeria to tackle the challenges of radicalization and violent extremism.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, OSGF, Alhaji Aminu Nabegu, said addressing violent extremism required coordinated and comprehensive approaches that would address underlying structural and economic problems.

He added that “The approach must be anchored on continued political and economic growth and improvement, including good governance, strengthening institutions, especially the criminal justice system, and increasing access to jobs and education opportunities for a bulging youth population, building an inclusive administration that takes into account yearnings and aspirations of all”.

Also, the Coordinator Counter Terrorism Centre, Commodore YEM Musa who was represented by Head Preventing Countering Violent Extremism, Mrs. Catherine Udida, stated that the Federal Government had developed several policy and legal frameworks in line with global good practices aimed at tackling issues of violent extremism and terrorism in Nigeria. Some of these policies include; Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA) 201; the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2011; National Security Strategy (NSS) 2014; and the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) 2014.

The Coordinator further explained that as a result of Nigeria’s experience with Violent Extremism, new institutions as well as expertise had been developed. Stating that the country has revised her National Security Strategy (NSS), with short and long term strategic goals to effectively counter Violent Extremism and strengthen collaboration between Government MDAs in combating terrorism.

trains govt liason officers

ONSA Trains Government Strategic Communication Liaison Officers

As part of measures to build capacity of Strategic Communication Liaison Officers across Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and selected Journalists under the Strategic Communication Inter-Agency Policy and Coordination Committee (SC/IPC), the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with Nigeria Reconciliation and Stability Programme (NSRP), organised    a Two-Day Capacity Building Workshop on Strategic Communication in Abuja        from 26 – 27 July 2017, with the theme “Mainstreaming Strategic Communication across Government for National Security.”

In his keynote address at the opening of the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated that the Ministry of Information and Culture has strengthened the capacity of its Information Officers to enable them track media platforms in order to tackle the menace of fake news with fact-based counter-narratives. The Minister added that Social Media platforms remain powerful tools of public communication, but inundated with challenges of fake news which makes it imperative for Information Officers to brace up and overcome the challenge.

Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser (NSA) who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Ambassador Aminu Nabegu, called on participants to come up with a strategic communication plan to counter the negative narratives by violent extremist groups.

The representative of the NSA further explained that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and ISIS often leverage on modern communication to propagate and sustain their violent ideologies. Stating that the groups were clever at employing fear appeal and terrorist acts to communicate and continuously be on the news media. He, however , called on the participants to take urgent steps to use strategic communication to counter negative narratives from extremist groups.

On his part, the representative of the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu informed participants that the UK government was committed to supporting the Nigerian government and its people to end the complex humanitarian situation caused by Boko Haram terrorist group.

tackle violence

Federal Government calls for inclusive collaborations among stakeholders to tackle Violent Extremism

The Federal Government has appealed for inclusive collaboration among various Security and Response Agencies, as well as Civil Society Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism and terrorism by leveraging on Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CCTC) Commodore YEM Musa made this appeal recently in Abuja while giving his keynote address at a One-Day Workshop organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN) under the Partnership against Violent Extremism (PAVE).

The workshop, with the theme “Enhancing the use of ICT in Counter-Terrorism Policy and Practice” was geared towards assisting Security and Response Agencies in the country to better track, monitor and collect data to enhance public safety and security through existing national policies like National Security Strategy (NSS) and National Counter-Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST).

The Coordinator who was represented by Head Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism Unit, Mrs Catherine Udida, stated that like every developed nation in the world, the country is faced with evolving security issues that continue to challenge government mandates. Adding that Government is implementing key reforms and strategies on public security and policy, some of which include: The National Security Strategy (NSS) 2014, the National Counter-terrorism Strategy (NACTEST 2016) and the National Cyber Security Strategy 2014.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director, Partner West Africa Nigeria, Mrs. Kemi Okenyodo in her welcome address stated that the workshop was organised as part of her organisation’s Citizens Security Programme area in furtherance of Promoting Informed Dialogue on Security (PRIDES) project. She called for more collaboration and corporation among Security and Response Agencies in the country.

On his part, the Crisis Response Lead at the British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr Micheal Ashew stressed the need for various government agencies to work together and share information, in order to have safer and secured environments, as only one organization could not proffer solutions to all the security problems confronting the nation.