Security personnel have been reminded to uphold the fundamental human rights of citizens while carrying out their duties in order to deal with the challenges of violent extremism in the country.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, gave the reminder on Friday at a three-day workshop for security personnel in Kaduna State, organised, as part of efforts to curb all forms of human rights abuses and brutality by security agents when carrying out their constitutional duties.
Monguno who was represented by Zakari Maijinyawa, urged the security operatives to always play by the rules of engagement while in the field without violating the rights of citizens.
The training facilitator, Professor Ifeanyi Onyeonoru, as well as the Project Manager, Prevention of Violation and Extremism, Chukwuma Ume, also spoke at the event.
They urged the participants to adapt the manual in their various training institutions, as well as mainstream and institutionalise the PVE Human Rights Sensitive training manual in their training curriculum.
A representative of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kabir Aliyu, gave an assurance that the agency would provide guidance and expertise, as well as monitor the implementation.
For participants, drawn from the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS), and other paramilitary agencies, the training is timely and will enhance inter-agency collaboration and cordial civil-military relations in the enforcement of law and order.
Over the years, there have been several reported cases of human rights abuses by security agents with perpetrators going scot-free in most cases.
This, among others, led to the launched of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017.
This was done with the notion that the response to violent extremism cannot be defeated by force of arms alone, but through people-centred and community-oriented policies, especially as it relates to respect for human rights.
Since the launching of the Policy Framework, the Office of the NAS has worked with partners to provide capacity building in responding to the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, as required by the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013.
The capacity building training for security personnel on prevention of violent extremism and respect for human rights is in line with Component Two of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which seeks to strengthen access to justice, rule of law, and human rights.
Organised by the office of the NSA in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event comes in the aftermath of the recent nationwide protest against police brutality.
It aims to enlighten the security personnel on the role of human rights law and practice in the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) and focuses on different aspects of human rights such as crime investigation, arrest and detention; and the use of force and firearms in law enforcement of human rights, among others.