Tuesday, November 28, 2017 6:18 pm
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism with a charge on Ministers and Heads of agencies to take steps in implementing the plan.
Inaugurating the Plan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, Buhari also called on States and Local Governments to develop similar plan to check violent extremism at the grassroots.
The president had on Aug. 24 signed a presidential directive for the implementation of Nigeria’s policy framework and national action plan for preventing and countering violent extremism.
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“I have directed that all ministries, departments and agencies to institutionalise mainstream measures to address the root causes of violent extremism while implementing programmes that build the resilience of Nigerians to recover from the consequences of violence.
“We must now while working together focus in rooting out hate, misrepresentation of religion and violence in our society.
“I also call on States and Local Governments to develop action plans for preventing and countering violent extremism at the grassroots,’’ he said.
The president noted that the policy framework and national action plan was a complimentary approach developed through consultations with Nigerians in and outside the government.
He said his administration was fully committed to addressing the root causes of violent extremism, noting that Nigeria was a free, peaceful and enterprising Nation.
Buhari affirmed that the Federal Government was committed to implementing the framework through the involvement of all citizens.
He, therefore, stressed the need to translate the policy framework and national action plan into major Nigerian languages for its smooth implementation.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Mongonu, revealed that Nigeria was one of the few countries that had developed the policy framework.
He said the framework was showcased on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly held in September in New York.
He stated that the development of the policy framework followed Buhari’s directive on the need to review Nigeria’s countering violent extremism programme.
According to him, in developing the policy framework government did not work in isolation as other relevant stakeholders were involved.
“In 2015, Mr President directed the review of Nigeria’s countering violent extremism programme.
“The review pointed us to the need for a complementary soft approach to our kinetic effort in dealing with terrorism based on principles of whole of government and whole of the society approach.
“We also recognised that in line with our focus on transparency, accountability and the rule of law, we needed to build a policy framework that ensures the institutionalisation and mainstreaming on countering violent extremism across ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government.
“While we were taking this step, the then United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki Moon in December of 2015, issued a call to member states to develop national plans to prevent violent extremism.
“It is in this context that l wish to thank, Mr President for endorsing the presidential directive on implementing Nigeria’s framework and national action plan for preventing and countering violent terrorism on Aug. 24, 2017.’’
Mongonu revealed that the policy framework was developed through wide consultations.
He noted that, “we have thus developed a policy framework that is truly people-oriented and it is tailored to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism while countering the dangerous ideologies that fuel terrorism.’