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


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.

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