Political Will Required to Deal with Armed Groups- Stakeholders
Participants at a three-day workshop in Abuja have recommended the need for policymakers to have the political will in order to effectively address the various threats to peace and stability in Nigeria.
The workshop convened by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), and the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria, was aimed at building the capacity of relevant Nigerian government officials on how to deal with non-state armed groups (NSAG-s),
Reflecting on the emergence and evolution of NSAG-s in Nigeria (root causes, enabling conditions, pathways to violence), the workshop emphasised the need for government’s willingness to explore the range of non-military tools to be deployed by the state in response to agitations by non-state armed groups.
It recommended the need to create an enabling environment for political dialogue between state actors and NSAG-s; the importance of commitment and consensus-building by state actors in dealing with NSAG-s; the need to enhance the capacity of security actors in understanding and utilizing various dialogue tools; as well as the need to bridge the divide between the academic community and practice, when it comes to peace and security matters.
In their opening statements at the workshop, the conveners, H.E Eric Mayoraz, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Commodore Y.E.M Musa, Coordinator Counterterrorism Centre in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Nigeria, as well as Ms. Meredith Preston-McGhie, Africa Regional Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), all expressed the timeliness of the workshop and stressed the need to consider the use of dialogue as a useful tool for engaging NSAG-s.
In his closing remarks at the end of the three-day workshop, Commodore YEM Musa, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of Switzerland, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), and staff of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), as well as the experts and participants, from Nigeria MDAs and Strategic institutions for the thought-provoking and engaging workshop.
In the course of the workshop, participants benefitted from the experiences shared on the various case studies by the lead discussants/resource persons, with the expectation that the shared experiences would impact upon the participants’ perception of – as senior representatives of various government MDAs – and approaches to dealing with NSAG-s. The exchange of ideas between the resource persons and the participants stimulated thoughts and helped them to generate new policy ideas for government’s efforts in dealing with NSAG-s in Nigeria.
The Workshop participants were drawn from Nigeria’s security agencies, relevant Ministries and Parastatals, such as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Ministries of Defence, Justice and Interior, as well as the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT). Attended by specialists with expertise on countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, the Lake Chad area, as well as Nigeria’s Niger
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Report By: PRNigeria.com