The Nigerian Army’s planned nationwide operation to demand identity cards from citizens across the country, earlier billed to begin in October, would now commence in November, a military source told PREMIUM TIMES.
Codenamed ‘Operation Positive Identification’, the operation would see soldiers accosting citizens on the streets or highways and asking them to produce means of identification on the spot.
Soldiers had been taking similar measures to separate citizens from terrorists in the northeastern part of Nigeria and the military claimed last month that citizens in the North-east had been cooperating with troops to make the exercise successful by carrying valid identity documents with them.
A statement issued on September 25 by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, had said:
“checkmate bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers as well as other sundry crimes across the various regions of Nigeria.”
The announcement came simultaneously with the awareness about the 2019 edition of the military’s anti-crime operations such as ‘Ayem Akpatuma’ in the North-central; ‘Egwu Eke’ in the South-east and ‘Crocodile Smile’ in the South-south and South-west.
Although ‘Operation Positive Identification’ was initially billed to commence alongside the anti-crime patrols on October 7, it was held for additional preparation. Military sources told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday that the exercise will now commence early November.
Citizens have been warned to carry a valid means of identification, especially voter’s card, national identity card, driver’s licence, international passport, whenever they are going out to avoid being seen as criminally-minded by soldiers.