- Buratai has explained why the military is conducting OPI exercise
- There have been criticisms over the planned exercise by the Army
- House of Representatives had summoned Buratai to brief it over the exercise
General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (CAS), on Thursday, October 31, revealed why the proposed Operation Positive Identification (OPI) would not hinder the day-to-day activities of Nigerians.
The Nation reports that Buratai made this known while fielding questions from the House of Representatives committee on Army in Abuja.
Legit.ng gathered that the Army boss, who was represented by the chief of civil-military affairs, Maj.-Gen. Usman Muhammed, said that the Army had submitted a detailed report on the OPI to the committee.
He said that the military is involved in ‘Operation Lafia Dole’ in the northeast and other subsidiary operations within the major operation.
Buratai said that the OPI is one of the subsidiary operations which is ongoing in the northeast zone.
According to him, based on credible intelligence on Boko Haram terrorists, they are no longer in their in enclaves, they are making a lot on in routs, spreading out away from their traditional strongholds.
He said that the OPI which started on September 22, in the northeast was based on the intelligence.
Buratai said that the military has a tradition of initiating operations towards the end of the year to reduce crime during the Yuletide.
“We have exercise Ayama Kpatuma in the north central, Atilogwu Udor in the southeast and Crocodile Smile in the south-south are aimed at addressing the security challenges in those zones.
“It is a training exercise and at the same time, it is a true operation whereby we use the opportunity to carry out activities to checkmate criminality and crime within those areas. This time around, we feel that we can extend the OPI to some of these areas where we are going to conduct some of these exercises,” he said.
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.
Buratai said that some insurgents had been arrested though the process in the northeast where the operation is ongoing.
He said that the citizens would not notice any change in their day-to-day activities and that there would not be extra check points.
Buratai said that there would not be additional troops on the streets and the rules of engagement would thoroughly observed.
He said that 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,” he added.
Buratai said that President Muhammadu Buhari was in support of the operation as well as the minister of defence and the chief of defence staff.
Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Abdulrazak Namdas, said that the House has it on good authority that the Army intends to commence OPI on November 1 nationwide.
He said that majority of Nigerians understand the OPI as carrying some form of identification when they go about their daily activities.
Namdas 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. (NAN)
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that some lawmakers at the Senate summoned Buratai over the controversial OPI planned to take place across the country.
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