Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Army Denies Proposed Army Operation Positive Identification,As Nigerians Condemn Action



 The Nigerian Army has regarded as ‘Fake Alert’ a viral post of planned nationwide ‘Operation Positive Identification’ (OPI) exercise credited to the Armed Forces.

In a social media post, the Army informed the public that the security advisory which is supposed to commence from November 1, 2019, to December 23, 2019, should be disregarded.


The advisory which was doctored with the Army logo was quoted as “Planned Nationwide Military Operation by the Nigerian Armed Forces.

“It has been officially declared that effective from 1st November 2019 to 23rd December 2019, residents shall witness large numbers of uniformed Nigerian Army Personnel parading the roads in an exercise known as OPI”

It added that residents should move around with valid means of identification, and obey all directives by security agents.

Meanwhile ,The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend Operation Positive Identification being planned by the Nigerian Army.

Several members of the House, who spoke on a motion by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu,  condemned the operation as anti-people which allegedly posed threats to human rights.

Besides the lawmakers, Nigerian Bar Associations and other groups including Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, faulted the excercise.

The Army had last month  said it planned Operation Positive Identification in the North-East to flush out Boko Haram insurgents

But later on September 25,  it said the exercise would be extended to other parts of the country. It stated the exercise  would enable soldiers  to accost citizens on the streets or roads and ask them to produce a means of identification.

It said the exercise  would check bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers, as well as other sundry criminals across the various regions of the country.

But in the House of Representatives on Tuesday,   lawmakers unanimously resolved that that the Nigerian Army should develop “a pro-people strategy in confronting our security challenges instead of measures that would further victimise the people.”

They also urged the President, being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to “review the situation and stop the Army from commencing the planned operation scheduled to begin on November 1, 2019, to make way for further consultations.”

The House also directed the Committee on Army to liaise with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, to develop “a pro-people strategy in combating crimes before commencing same.”

Moving the motion, Elumelu said the OPI would “downgrade Nigerians to suspects and in fact conquered persons in their country, thereby stripping them of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement.”

According to the Minority Leader, the operation is a recipe for possible militarisation of Nigeria.

He warned that the nationwide operation would also amount to an “indirect imposition of a state of emergency across the country by the Army.

Elumelu said military operations that had direct contact and regulation of civilians could result in “abuses and serious safety issues, especially at this time the nation is battling with the scourge of victimisation and extrajudicial killings.”

He said the planned implementation of OPI across the nation would rather worsen the security situation in the country.

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