Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives minority caucus has expressed concerns over the Operation Positive Identification (OPI), being planned nationwide the Nigeria Army.
The minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement on Monday said the planned operation is a recipe for possible militarilisation of the country which may lead to infringement on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Elumelu noted that the nationwide operation would also, amount to an indirect imposition of a state of emergency across the country by the Nigeria Army.
He argued that such military operation that involves direct contact and regulating of civilians could result in abuses and serious safety issues, especially at this time the nation is battling with the scourge of victimisation and extra-judicial killings.
According to him, “the plan, if allowed, would downgrade innocent Nigerians to suspects and conquered people in their own country, strip them of their constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of movement and instill fear, anxiety and panic in the entire polity. Many Nigerians, particularly those living in rural areas, would be victimised, as there has not been enough public sensitisation for such security operation.”
The minority leader stated that although the opposition appreciates the efforts of the security agencies to safeguard lives and property of the people owing to the serious security challenges confronting the country, the planned OPI will not help matters.
“The Army and all security forces should rather develop more pro-people strategies in combating our security challenges instead of measure that could further victimise the people,” he stated.
Consequently, Elumelu charged President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to review the November 1 commencement of the OPI to give room for further consultation on the issue.