The House of Representatives has called for the immediate suspension of the proposed Operation Positive Identification by the Nigerian Army to commence on November 1, nationwide just as it resolved to invite the chief of Army Staff, Brig.Gen Tukur Buratai to explain the rationale behind the operation.
The House’s minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu had in the debate of the motion on Tuesday said the operation was against democratic tenets. Citing section 217 (2)(c)&(d) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), he said the proposed operation is outside the constitutional responsibility of the Army which is saddled with protecting the territorial integrity of the country adding that such operation should be left for the police and other security agencies.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu queried the motive behind the operation.
He said, “When we were inundated by boko haram and everyone lived in fear, the Army didn’t do this, is it now that we have relative peace that they want to start identifying Nigerians on the street?
“What difference is this operation supposed to make, what’s the aim and intention? Asking Nigerians to identify themselves on the street is out of place.
“And the prayers of the Minority leader in this motion are germaine and the President who’s the commander in chief should let us know if he’s aware of this and has given his approval.
“But then, Nigerians should be made aware that this particular exercise is for a good reason and what the reason is.”
In his contribution, Representatives Kolawole Lawal (APC, Ogun), said: “It’s not time to start what I call an effort in futility. Because this will not achieve any security objective, and if so, why do we have these soldiers if they can’t use intelligence to fish out bad eggs?”
“Now, how many Nigerians have national I’d card or international passport? Even voters card, how many within the population can boast of having one?”
Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, from Borno lampooned the security heads : “I’d like to emphasize that if our security chiefs are having no ideas, they should let Nigerians know so that others can bring in ideas on how to tackle insecurity”.
“It takes more than 13 hours to go from Abuja to Maiduguri with all the road blocks. So if you ask every passenger to show his her I’d card, how many days do you think it would take for them to get to Maiduguri?
“This is not an idea at all and I condemn it in totality as a member representing Chibok Damboa federal constituency, and as a member of the House committee on Army”, he said.
The motion was put to question by the presiding Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and was unanimously adopted without dissent.
The House adjourned plenary to next week Tuesday to enable committees with budget defence.