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.

ctc round table

Global Counter Terrorism Forum: ONSA Hosts Roundtable Meeting of Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) recently hosted a three-day roundtable meeting of the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group (CJROL), under the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) in Abuja. The roundtable meeting was a build-up to Nigeria and Switzerland taking over from the United State of America (USA) and Egypt, as the Co-Chairs of the CJROL working group at the just concluded side event of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Nigeria and Switzerland in the next two years will be working together as partners towards advancing the two countries objectives on the global fight against terrorism within the purview of Criminal Justice and Rule of Law.

Speaking during the roundtable meeting, the Coordinator Counter Terrorism Centre, Commodore YEM Musa who is the Nigeria Co-Chair of the Working Group stated that GCTF has been a major player in providing a platform where countries come together and exchange ideas and experiences in order to offer solutions to the world challenges posed by terrorism.

The Coordinator further explained that the platform had not only helped countries to address their terrorism challenges but helped them to support the implementation of the United Nation Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. Stating that the Forum has supported greatly non-military approaches to counter terrorism, using Rule of Law and Human Right Compliant methodologies.

The Swiss Co-Chair, Ambassador at Large for international Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Stephen Husy said Nigeria-Swiss Co-Chair was due to intensive corporation between the two countries. He emphasized the need to look for civil based legal solutions in preventing and countering violent extremism.

The Nigeria- Swiss Co-Chairs proposed cooperation with other GCTF Emerging and Regional Working Groups on the issues of mutual, interest and concern that would be identified after the determination of the other Working Groups Priorities. The areas of cooperation would include Detention and Reintegration; Capacity Building for strengthening Investigation, Prosecution and Adjudication; Preventing Violent Extremism; Border Security and other activities in the Lake Chad Basin and West Africa Region, and Proliferation of Small Arms and light weapons.

From 5th left – The Administrator, National Judicial Institute, Hon. Justice Roseline Bozimo, in a group photograph with members of Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group at the Institute recently in Abuja

Meanwhile, the National Judicial Institute (NJI) has expressed readiness to partner with the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group in combating Violent Extremism. The Director of study at the Institute, Hajiya, Maryam Kawu stated this in Abuja when the CJRLO working group visited the Institute to seek collaboration with the Institute in implementing its strategic plan in the next two years. 

72 UN Assembly

FG Showcases Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at a Side Event of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly

The Federal Government has showcased Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at a Side Event hosted by the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.

Speaking at the event, the Coordinator Counter Terrorism Centre, Commodore YEM Musa said President Muhammadu Buhari on 24 August, 2017 issued a Presidential Directive for full implementation of the Policy Framework and national Action Plan

The Coordinator explained that, “after five years of experimenting with several approaches to complement Nigeria’s national counter terrorism measures to deal with violent conflicts in Nigeria, address the underlying conditions that are conducive to the spread of terrorism and help communities recover from the consequences of violence, the country had emerged stronger in the face of violent extremism “ We now understand the threat better, our policy is backed by a clear evidence base, we are now more convinced that international cooperation works and that when Government work closely with Civil Society, we will always be closer to dismantling the web of Violent Extremism in our societies” he added.

Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism has four core objectives, which include, strengthening institutions and Coordination of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism  Programming; Strengthen accessible justice system, human rights and the Rule of law; Strengthening community engagement and building resilience; and institutionalizing and mainstreaming strategic communication into Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism  programming.

The Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Centre commended the immense support received from the U.K. DFID, the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, the European Union, Government of the Netherlands, Government of Switzerland and several partners who shared experiences with Nigeria in developing the Policy Framework against violent extremism.