By Dapo Akinrefon
The Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai over what it described as “timely” introduction of the ‘Operation Positive Identification’.
The group reckoned that the exercise is crucial to restore sanity in the region, especially at a time foreign criminal elements have infiltrated the country.
The MBCG made this known on Friday at a press conference in Abuja.
In a statement signed by its President, Prince Raymond Nero, the group revealed that the operation is a thoughtful security sanity and the final push to flush out remnants of terrorists.
Like previous operations, the Middle-Belt expressed confidence that OPI would be a massive success, filtering, identifying and apprehending hired foreign criminals.
The group, therefore, commended President Buhari and the Army leadership for coming up with such thoughtful and proactive measure.
The statement reads:
“The Middle Belt Conscience Guard’s (MBCG) is most delighted to warmly welcome you to this Press Conference. We are grateful to Almighty God for our robust lives and the steady progress of our nation in the#NextLevel.
We are encouraged to address the media and by implication the Nigerian public for two reasons. First, to once again drum attention of our compatriots to the commencement of the “Operation Positive Identification,” (OPI) today Friday, November 1, 2019 by the Nigerian Army.
It is an exercise that will cause an increased presence of soldiers on major highways and locations nationwide. And soldiers are expected to politely and courteously request travelers to identify themselves before proceeding on their journeys.
Secondly, MBCG is constrained to interact with Nigerians on OPI exercise to explain reasons the military civil operations have become expedient. And also, to canvass support from the civil populace for the Army throughout the three-week duration of the exercise.
To this end, we advise that during the Army’s outing on OPI, Nigerians in transit are expected to carry in their possession a valid and authentic means of identification such as national identity card, voter’s registration card, (PVC), driver’s license, international passport and or, other valid official identification document.
All civilians are expected to be cautious, conduct themselves responsibly and comply with official directives by security agents during this interface. The Army will not violate the human rights of any Nigerian in the course of this exercise.
The MBCG is excited with OPI because everyone will concede to us that most parts of Nigeria, especially the Middle Belt region have been plunged into meaningless and rampant crisis. It ranges from bloodletting and destructions, armed banditry and cattle rustling, terrorism, kidnappings and so forth, fueled by suspected foreign criminal gangs who have illegally migrated into the country.
Regrettably, it is the Middle Belt region that is very susceptible and the worst hit by the atrocities and criminal activities of these foreign criminal agents, killer mercenaries, terrorists, armed bandits, cattle rustlers and their ilk, who invade us from outside Nigeria. They are contracted, sponsored and imported into the country by satanically possessed political actors to destabilize our peace as a region and the nation.
It is only the vigilance and alertness of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army that have saved us from total doom and destruction by the invasion and toxic insecurity orchestrated by these suspected foreign criminals.
The MBCG profoundly salutes Mr. President and the leadership of the Nigerian Army for continually rising to the defence of Nigerians from the invasion by foreign criminal elements and their internal collaborators.
We are already in the yuletide season and it is the most auspicious time, which spurs the zeal of criminal elements to unleash assorted terrors and criminalities on innocent and law abiding citizens. Therefore, the OPI is crafted to checkmate the widespread insecurity occasioned by the exigencies of this celebrative season.
The MBCG consequently fully identifies with the FGN and the leadership of the Nigerian Army on OPI. We appreciate this laudable and proactive initiative on taming insecurity in the country in our region and the country.
The Nigerian Army particularly has been performing a wonderful and commendable job on Internal Security (IS). We recall the Army’s intervention with the “Operation Python Dance (I & II) for Nigerians domiciled in the Southeast to be extricated from the pangs of bloodshed, armed robberies, kidnappings and allied criminalities to enjoy a peaceful yuletide and New Year.
The Army instantly flushed out armed gangs and militias terrorizing the peace and security of the Southeast region. Similar military operations like “Operation Delta Safe” conducted by the Army also cleansed the South-South region, of armed militants, kidnappers, armed robbers, armed pirates and related criminalities. Many other parts of the country have benefitted from the solace of the Army’s soothing and reliving interventions on insecurity.
The OPI exercise is a thoughtful and proactive security measure, fashioned on a similar template. It is honed to identify and apprehend hired foreign criminals who invade our country and perpetrate all manner of atrocities. So, we have no doubt that the Army will do a clean, neat and commendable job with OPI for our enduring peace and security.
Once again, we assure that no Nigerian would have his human rights abused or violated by soldiers during OPI. We therefore, call on all citizens of Nigeria, especially, those domiciled in North Central states, which are intensely terrorized, to come out en masse in discharge of the obligation of moral encouragement and support to the Nigerian Army for a resounding success of the OPI.