Ribadu advocates community driven counter-terrorism efforts in North East

Nuhu Ribadu

 

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has called for community driven reintegration and reconciliations process for repentant members of Non-State Armed Groups in the North East.

Ribadu made the call at the launch of European Union (EU) Support for Disengagement, Review, Reintegration and Reconciliation of Persons Formerly Associated with NSAGs in the North East Nigeria (SD3R), on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that his office would continue to coordinate efforts towards prevention of violent extremism and offering counselling services to achieve successful reintegration and reconciliation of former NSAGs and associates.

The NSA welcomed the EU initiative, saying it is imperative to sensitise communities, conduct town hall meetings and enhance the capacity of government agencies and communities to prevent the emergence of new conflicts.

He said that the SD3R project was conceived to promote peace and stability in North-East Nigeria through community-driven reintegration and reconciliation process.

Ribadu explained that the project would support authorities in investigation and prosecution of individuals accused of terrorism offences in the region, to ensure accountability and redress.

He appreciated the EU for its support to the Federal Government, especially in counter-terrorism and projects funding.

Ribadu also commended the Governors of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, for providing enabling environment in their respective states for the first phase of the project.

“It is important to note that the SD3R project is a continuation of the first one, the S2R project, being implemented in the three states by a consortium of four United Nations agencies.

“These are International Organisation for Migration, UNESEF, UNDP and UNODC, which came on board as a new partner to support the criminal justice system component of the project.

“It is also to be noted that the excellent cooperation and collaboration between the Government of Nigeria, EU and UN system on the DDRR and other projects led to the success of the first phase for us at the office for the NSA.”

In his remarks, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno commended the stakeholders for identifying the root causes of insurgency in the North East, saying that ending insurgency in the region would lead to ending it across the country.

Zulum said states in the North East must take ownership of the projects, which were designed to address the social, economic and political dimensions of the crisis.

He said some of the root causes of insurgency were poverty, climate vulnerabilities and infrastructure deficit, and advocated bottom-top approach to addressing the crisis and in handling the resultant humanitarian crisis.

In her remarks, the EU Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb. Samuela Isopi, said that healing and reconciliation could be achieved in the sub-region if all work together, leveraging on collective expertise.

Isopi said the EU was happy to continue to support the process in the hope that it would rebuild broken bridges within families and communities.

According to her, the project is part of the broader EU support to the Lake Chad region which amounts to 2.5 billion Euros since 2014 while its implementation would leverage on the expertise and experience of the four UN agencies involved. (NAN)

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