The Federal Government has in furtherance of efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism in Nigeria, concluded plans to validate the framework and National Action Plan (NAP) for deradicalisation and countering of extremist groups like Boko Haram terrorists.
To this end, the constituted Working Group on developing the framework and NAP for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Nigeria will meet this week to validate the draft framework.
The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), with support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), coordinated the work of the Working Group in a process that involved stakeholders from line ministries, departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations, religious leaders, youth and women groups, and the academia.
The Communication Manager, NSRP, Mr. Chinedu Anarado, in a statement on Saturday, said the framework is designed to address the conditions conducive to violent extremism, build the evidence base for prevention programmes and ensure partnerships in countering violent extremism.
Anarado disclosed that the work on the document began in August, 2016 with the inauguration of the group followed by a strategic workshop in October 2016.
This, he said, was followed up by key informant interviews and a review of international good practices in preventing and countering violent extremism.
“Work on the framework and National Action Plan was carried out by a technical team comprising in-house experts and personnel from ONSA, NSRP and international consultants. The team was led by Professor Alemika of the University of Jos,” he stated.
In the same vein, the Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC), ONSA Commodore Yem Musa, said that the framework development process was consultative and ensured that local knowledge of the drivers of radicalisation informed our strategy to prevent and counter violent extremism.
Musa stressed that by coordinating the process, ONSA is responding to the requirement of the Terrorism Prevention Act, as amended in 2013.
He said: “We are confident that the new framework, following validation, will open up space for engagement between Government and Civil society, including religious and community leaders in preventing and countering violent extremism.
“Its implementation will complement the success of our armed forces as we partner for safer and resilient communities.”
According to him, the framework set for validation defined the full range of efforts that are complementary to ongoing counter terrorism efforts.
“Through what the framework called a ‘Whole-of-Government and a Whole-of Society Approach’, Nigeria is by this framework also responding to the call in December 2015 by the United Nations Secretary General to member states to develop national frameworks and action plans for preventing violent extremism.
“The new framework seeks to deter recruitment into violent extremism; engage, rehabilitate, reintegrate persons associated with violent extremism while countering extremist narratives through several communication platforms,” he added.