President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched a new policy framework and national action plan for the prevention and combat of terrorism in the country.

Developed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in compliance with a 2015 presidential directive, it is the latest initiative in government‘s effort to rid the country of the nagging menace.

Performing the launching at the presidential villa, Abuja, the president revealed that the framework was a product of wide consultations with relevant stakeholders within and outside Nigeria.

He said he had directed ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government to ensure the implementation of the framework.

Expressing appreciation to the military which he said had decimated Boko Haram through immense sacrifices, he charged the state and local governments to come up with their own action plans on how to prevent and counter-terrorism at the grassroots.

He said government was committed to implementing the framework, adding that having launched the framework and national action plan, concentration should now be on how to eliminate hate, misrepresentation of religion and promotion of violence in the country.

He also called on civil society organisations and international organisations to be guided by principles of the framework and action plan.

President Buhari similarly directed Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to put in place measures aimed at helping Nigerians to recover from the adverse effects of violence.

He said: “We are committed also to implement the framework with whole of the society approach. I have directed all the ministries, departments and agencies to institutionalize mainstreaming measures to address the root causes of violent extremism while implementing programmes that aid the resilience of our people to recover from the consequences of violence.

“We are grateful to God that through the immense sacrifices of our armed forces and other security agencies, Boko Haram has been degraded and pushed out of communities where they built sanctuaries.

“We now have to work together to focus on rooting out hate, misrepresentation of religion and violence in our society.

“I must also express my sincere appreciation to those individuals and institutions who contributed to the development of this policy framework and national action plan.

“I also call on state and local governments to develop action plan for preventing and countering violent extremism at the grassroots. I likewise call on all civil society organisations and international institutions to be guided by the principle and sharing in this policy framework and national exchange plan.

“Finally, l am very pleased to launch this policy framework and national action plan and call on ministers and heads of agencies to take steps in implementing the plan.”

Speaking at the occasion, the NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno, gave a background to the development of the new initiative.

He affirmed that it was the result of the presidential directive for a review of Nigeria’s countering violent extremism programme.

He said the review resulted in a complementary soft approach to the effort in countering terrorism on the basis of “principles of whole of government and whole of the society approach.”

The NSA said the framework and action plan were also the fallout of the realization to build a policy framework that will guarantee the institutionalisation and mainstreaming on countering violent extremism across MDAs in accordance with the principles of transparency, accountability and the rule of law.

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