The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) on Thursday, 18 November, 2021 said the Federal Government has adopted a soft approach to tackle the security challenges in the country by developing a Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE).
Monguno noted this in Abuja when he was represented by the Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Center, Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa at the National Conference on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) in Nigeria organized by ActionAction Nigeria and funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
He said a document tagged “Partnering for Safer and Resilient Communities”, provides the framework for programming and engagements on PCVE in Nigeria and recognizes 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 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 organization.
He said: “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.”
Also, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria , Ene Obi said there has been worrying trends in recent years is the threat of radicalism and violent extremism.
She lamented that Nigeria still ranks 3rd in the category of most terrorized countries in the world just after Afghanistan and Iraq, following statistics drawn from the 2020 Global Terrorism Index.
She said the gap between the least and most peaceful countries in the world continues to grow as Nigeria ranks 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 is localization 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 Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE 11) project implemented in Kongo and Nasarrawa states with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
She said they have 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.
She further said they have successfully graduated 3,000 youth ambassadors from our annual peace camp with all deployed with 24 communities in Kogi and Nasarrawa state as peace agents.