With ‘Whole-of-Government’, ‘Whole-of-Society’ Approach, FG Confident of Subduing Violent Extremism

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), yesterday, said the federal government had adopted a soft approach to tackle and subdue the security challenges in the country by developing a Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) tagged: ‘Whole-of-Government’ and ‘Whole-of-Society’ approach.

Monguno, however, hinted at this approach in Abuja, at the National Conference on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) in Nigeria organised by ActionAidNigeria and funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).

The NSA, who was represented by the Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Center, Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa, said a document tagged “Partnering for Safer and Resilient Communities”, provides the framework for programming and engagements on PCVE in Nigeria and 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 added that the policy framework encouraged 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 agencies, 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.

“We have improved the execution of our National Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which is an important framework for coordinating Nigeria’s counter-terrorism efforts and mainstreaming the rule of law while bringing terrorists to justice,” he said.
The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, said what has been a worrying trend in recent years was the threat of radicalism and violent extremism.

She lamented that Nigeria still ranked 3rd in the category of most terrorised countries in the world just after Afghanistan and Iraq, following statistics drawn from the 2020 Global Terrorism Index.

Obi said the gap between the least and most peaceful countries in the world has continued to grow as Nigeria ranked 136th in the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) report (2021) by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).

According to her, the theme of the National conference PCVE, which was localisation of the policy framework and national action plan for PCVE aligns with ActionAid Nigeria’s objective to build sustainable peace through the System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE 11) project implemented in Kongo and Nasarrawa States with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).

She explained that they had successfully engaged 20,800 youth with 1,614 persons (Youth-600 men, 505 women: 509 adult women) supported, with valuable life skills and starter packs, which keeps them productivity occupied, reducing their vulnerability to violent extremist recruitments.

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