By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA—The Federal Government is set to begin the full implementation of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy, NACTEST, as part of measures to enhance its onslaught on insurgency. Deputy Director, Counter Terrorism Centre in the Office of the National Security Adviser ONSA, Ahmad Mohammed Gusau, disclosed this at a stakeholders workshop on the implementation of NACTEST in Abuja yesterday.

File: Cameroonian soldiers patrol on November 12, 2014 in Amchide, northern Cameroon, 1 km from Nigeria. The city was raided by Islamists from Nigeria's Boko Haram, killing eight cameroonian soldiers and leading the population to flee on October 15, 2014, before another six coordinated attacks that killed at least three civilians in the remote north of the country, on November 9, 2014. Boko Haram's five-year insurgency in neighboring Nigeria has left thousands dead, and the Islamists have occasionally carried out attacks over the border. Cameroon has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers in the extreme northeast of the country to counter the Islamist threat. AFP PHOTO
File:  soldiers on patrol 

Developed in 2014 and later reviewed, NACTEST is a service-wide potpourri of counter-terrorism efforts bordering on the deployment of  carrot and stick approach in fighting terrorism.

While the strategy is coordinated by ONSA, several ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, now have clear-cut roles to play in its implementation.

Each of the MDAs would now have a NACTEST desk, based on their core mandates to either forestall threats, secure territories, identify, prepare and implement policy-directives.

On his part, the National Security Adviser, Gen. Babagana Monguno, retd, said the federal government, using the Counter Terrorism Centre, revised NACTEST to deploy all necessary efforts at tackling the menace.

“The NACTEST is a call for action to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, including Non-Governmental Organisations and all well-meaning Nigerians to consciously take up their roles as outlined in the strategy and contribute by undertaking programmes and projects that are especially counter-terrorism specific and counter-terrorism relevant.

“The first edition of the counter-terrorism strategy was developed and launched in 2014, with distribution and awareness being created for the purpose of mainstreaming its content and fostering implementation.

‘’However, the strategy has now been reviewed after two years of working and testing, as provided for. The Office of the National security Adviser, ONSA, is, therefore, now in full swing to implement the strategy with of course, the participation and buy-in of the relevant stakeholders as represented here by MDAs.

‘’The ONSA has ensured the development of NACTEST Desks and appointment of Focal/Liaison Officers in MDAs. “The ONSA expects all MDAs to use these desks to ensure the driving of their roles as stated in the NACTEST as there would be periodic checks/ liaison to give room for monitoring and evaluation.

“We must all realise that to defeat terror or manage the acts of terrorism, the country must be a step ahead of the terrorist. ‘’To be steps ahead of the terrorists, all gamut of national power and authority must be activated and channelled adequately.”

‘’The ONSA expects very good cooperation and contribution from all MDAs and NGOs and ONSA will continue to provide the coordination function as stated in the Terrorism Prevention Act, as amended, and provide technical support as necessary,” Monguno said.



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