Tordue Salem – Abuja
The House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, after it rejected the army operation to “identify true citizens” of the country.
The operation code-named by the Nigerian Army as “Operation Positive Identification,” was rejected on the floor of the House, after the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu’s Motion of Urgent National Importance was adopted.
Elumelu had through his motion, cited Order 8 Rule 7, and section 47 of the 1999 Constitution, in rejecting the proposed operation positive identification initiative of the army.
Hon. Idagbo Ochiglegor seconded the motion.
Elumelu stressed that the operation was not approved by the National Assembly and therefore null and void.
He said: “This operation identification that the army wants to embark upon, has not been brought to us, according to that section. It is therefore not acceptable.
“For them to embark on that without asking the House or National Assembly for approval, is unacceptable.”
He, therefore, asked the House to allow the Committee on Army to probe the matter, with a view to shelving it.
Also supporting Elumelu’s position, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, said the exercise of verifying the identities of citizens, was not within the purview of the Nigerian Army.
“It’s not the brief of the army to check people’s identities. We have the National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria Immigrations Service, Nigerian Police, and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),” he opined.
Toby wondered what the army wanted to achieve with the exercise.
He added: “The Nigerian Army is just engaging in an exercise outside their purview. What is the intention; what is the operation going to address?”
He told Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over plenary, to refer the matter to the Committees of the Army, Defence, and Police for further consideration.