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Friday, November 1, 2019

Tension As Army Insists On ‘Operation Identify Yourself’

Various groups and notable persons yesterday rose against bid by the Nigerian Army to get all citizens identify themselves in a planned exercise tagged Operation Positive Identification, OPI, just as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday told the House of Representatives that the Army’s insistence on the exercise was targeted at members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Besides, he stressed that the operation was in line with the Army’s constitutional mandate, and that it would curtail operations of the menacing terrorist group. The Army chief’s statement came days after the Army had denied it had any such plan, describing earlier report on the issue as fake news.
Recall that the House last Tuesday adopted a motion brought before it by Minority Leader, Godwin Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-DELTA), who condemned the OPI and sought the summons of the COAS to explain its rationale before a relevant committee.
But testifying his before the House Committee on Army which is conducting an investigative hearing on the issue yesterday, Buratai, who was represented Army’s Chief of Civil/Military Affairs, Maj.Gen Usman Mohammed, said the Operation Positive Identification, OPI, was one of several operations aimed at smoking out and eliminating terrorists across the country, noting that it is primarily directed at the North East zone.
He said:
“Besides the OPI, the military is involved in Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East, Operation Ayem Akpatuma in the North Central, Operation Crocodile Smile and Atilogu Dance, in the South South and South East. “However, the OPI, is based on intelligence.
We decided to come up with the initiative, because we got the intelligence that Boko Haram terrorists, were infiltrating the civilian population, not only in North East, but other parts of the country.

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