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 Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) National Action Plan Steering Committee 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 decisions making and implementation; to strengthen Preventing Violent Extremism Leadership Dialogue across sectors and shape decision making, among others.
Declaring the Workshop open, Rear Adm. Yaminu Musa, Coordinator, Counter-Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), noted that terrorists activities require multidimensional approaches involving all stakeholders to tackle.
“The multidimensional nature and complexity of terrorists’ activities require multidimensional approaches involving all stakeholders,” he said.
The Coordinator said it was heart-warming to have witnessed Masterclass I, to III in the past, and now, Masterclass IV. “This is borne out of the harrowing experience caused by the non-state armed groups who have continued to unleash terror, mayhem and killing innocent citizens. The untoward activities of these insurgents and the terrorists groups, particularly in the North East of the country have to a very large extent debilitated economic activities in the country and led to the displacement of people and communities,” he added.
He noted that the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for PCVE recognised the integrated roles of government agencies with the larger society as critical by adopting a Whole of Government and a Whole-of-Society approach.
According to him, it 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 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 further noted that the development and implementation of a policy framework prioritizes the strengthening of institutions and coordination; access to justice, rule of law, and human rights approaches; engaging communities and building resilience; and integrating strategic communication in PCVE Programmes.
Musa believes that the Masterclass would serve as a veritable initiative that would directly support the attainment of the different objectives designed for strengthening institutional capacity for PCVE in Nigeria.
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 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.