The Nigerian Army says expanding its ongoing Operation Positive Identification, OPI, to other parts of the country was aimed at tackling security challenges in the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Burutai made the disclosure at the National Assembly complex Abuja, before the House of Representatives Committee on Army.
Represented by the Chief of Civilian-Military Relation at the Army Head Quarters, Maj. Gen. Usman Muhammad, the COAS said the operation is intelligence base in conjunction with other security agencies.
“The operation and similar operation are to serve as training and measures to tackle insecurity and other criminalities in the country.
That it has succeed in the North East, which is intelligence base operation, the Nigerian Army felt that the operation be expanded to all other parts of the country.
The exercise is nothing new and will help in achieving a secure country while respecting all the Rule of Engagements.
Is still part of normal activities of the Army.” Maj. Gen. Muhammad insisted.
Maj. Gen. Muhammad who described the operation as subsidiary operations that will run along major operations such as Crocodile Smile, Python Dance among others, was aimed at securing the country while respecting the Rule of Engagements.
He explained that the OPI is an intelligence led activity based on credible information by which the army go to specific areas and effect arrests.
Maj. Gen. Muhmammad said that “Some insurgents had been arrested though the process in the North East where the operation is ongoing.
Citizens would not notice any change in their day-to-day activities and that there would not be extra check points and no additional troops on the streets and the rules of engagement would thoroughly observed.
The operation was in collaboration with other security agencies like National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Department of State Service (DSS) among others.
The exercise is nothing too different, it is something that is going to assist us add value to what we are doing in the north east”.
Earlier, the Chairman of the committee AbdulRazak Namdas said that majority of Nigerians understand the OPI as carrying some form of identification when they go about their daily activities.
He said that though the major role of the army is to safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria, when there critical internal security challenges, the army could be invited.
“We are happy that the army has been doing that in the South South, North West, North Central and in the North East.
There were a lot of issues in the zones ranging from Boko Haram, pipeline vandalism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry among others.
Giving the quantity of issues at hand, we are shock to hear that the military is adding to its authority by taking the job of the police or Immigration.
So we felt that it was necessary for us to sit down with the military; you have your roles to play and we expect that you cannot add for yourself especially roles not envisaged in the Constitution.” Namdas added.