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Why Buratai’s Operation Positive Identification May Fail

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ElevateNews takes a look at the request by the Chief of Army Staff, the need for Operation Identification Card.

Most of the Senators who spoke on the Operation Positive Identification at the red chamber kicked against the plan on Tuesday. Their arguments were apt with various instances of multiple identification cards of Nigerian citizens.

The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai has proposed OPI as part of the army’s strategy to curb insecurity but it seems he is not going to succeed on this.

Lagos Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana said that the issue of identification is a constitutional matter, saying Buratai could not just wake up from the wrong side of bed to call for OPI.

To Falana, there is no place in the constitution where citizens must move around with identification card to know if they are Nigerians or not.

He said that OPI would amount to infringing on the fundamental human rights of the citizens and that he would campaign to frustrate such plan.

Falana condemned Buratai’s on OPI as he advised him to strengthen his logic on how to tackle the menace of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East instead of seeking identification card before attacking the insurgents.

To the fiery lawyer, the police should be allowed to do their work. The police are in charge of anything that has to do with identification not the soldiers.

“Let Buratai go and fight the war against terrorism instead of seeking to do police work,” the lawyer charged.

Buratai is one service chief I have expected that President Muhammadu Buhari ought to have fired by now. The COA thinks more like a civilian than a soldier and this has reflected in his fight against terrorism. He is full of excuses.

An average Nigerian now carries more than three identification cards, which to me is enough to identify a citizen if truly this government is serious with its policy on the national identification card.

The National Identification Management Commission, NIMC has not done well at all in this regards. Millions of Nigerians are still parading the temporary identification card after years of registering with NIMC.

I am a typical example of a Nigerian that is yet to get his permanent national ID card from NIMC after I had registered in 2014.

I have visited the NIMC office at Alausa, Ikeja severally until a week ago but the permanent ID card is not yet ready.

Besides, the Voter’s Card is another authentic identification card that captures the biodata of Nigerians, which can be used as means of identification if Buratai is so keen about knowing where the Boko Haram members have come from.

Buratai will need to work with the National Orientation Agency to get the soft copies of Nigerians and their biodata to enable him to fight insurgency.

Seeking Operation Positive Identification is like playing on words and duplication of efforts. It can also result in a situation whereby soldiers are arbitrarily given the power to apprehend innocent citizens.

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