ROUNDCHECK analyzed the information that the House of Representatives approved the request of the Nigerian Army to carry out an exercise called “Positive Identification” across the nation.
Recently, a viral message on WhatsApp stated that the House of Representatives has approved ‘Operation Positive Identification’ by the Nigerian Army.
The WhatsApp broadcast warned citizens to always go around with a valid means of identification, to avoid embarrassment, or get arrested by soldiers.
Checks by ROUNDCHECK revealed that the Director of Operations and Training of the Nigerian Army, Major General E.O. Udoh initiated the controversy surrounding the exercise.
Udoh stated at a press conference on September 25, 2019, in Abuja that the military was extending “Operation Positive Identification”, first launched in the North-eastern part of Nigeria, to the rest of the country.
The General said this would help checkmate terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers and other crimes across Nigeria.
Similarly, the then Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, while defending the army’s decision before a House of Representatives committee said the exercise would focus on intelligence rather than deployment of troops or mounting roadblocks across the country.
But the House of Representative members were sharply divided by the alleged moves by the Nigeria Army to launch the Operation across the nation. Despite the explanations, the exercise attracted criticisms from concerned Nigerians, who vehemently opposed it.
Similarly, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, had on October 25, 2019, filed a suit against the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, and the Attorney-General of the Federation over the exercise.
In 2019 despite the uproar, ROUNDCHECK learned that the exercise was not conducted nationwide; it only existed in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states due to the level of insurgency in those areas.
“Operation Positive Identification” exercise in 2019 was done in some selected states but it was not launched nationwide 2019 nor was it extended to other states.
The viral message resurfacing in 2021 is misleading.
ROUNDCHECK after a thorough check through the official communication channels of the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Defence Headquarters with reference to the timeline of activities in 2019, 2020,2021, and 2022 found out that there is no information concerning the exercise at the time this fact-check was written.
The message that resurfaced in 2022 claiming that the House of Representatives Approved Request For The Nigerian Army To Carry Out “Operation Positive Identification” Nationwide is MISLEADING.
EDITOR’S NOTE: ROUNDCHECK as an independent youthled fact-checking platform supports that Nigerian citizens should always move with their means of identification. This is in reality with the current trends of insecurity in the country.
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