•Urges Nigerians to root out hate
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has launched Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at the State House, Abuja, yesterday.
This was even as the president called for greater cooperation among Nigerians, root out hate, misrepresentation of religion and violent extremism in the country.
He described Nigeria as a country blessed with peaceful and enterprising people who must do all they can to resist the twisted ideologies of terrorists.
Buhari also restated his administration’s commitment to addressing the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria.
He said the National Action Plan on counter-terrorism, for which he has directed all ministries, departments and agencies to mainstream in their programmes, was developed after wide consultations with Nigerians, in and out of government.
The president called on states and local governments to draw up a similar plan and ensure that the message of counterpart terrorism is effectively transmitted to the grassroots.
National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, in his remarks, disclosed development of the plan was guided by Nigeria’s core national ethics which include fundamental principles of security of life, property, freedom of association and belief as well as protection of human rights.
According to him, the objective of the action plan is to, among other things, strengthen accessible justice system and respect for human rights and rule of law.
“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 His Excellency, Mr. President, for endorsing the presidential directive on implementing Nigeria’s framework and national action plan for preventing and countering violent terrorism on the 24th or August, 2017.”