The purported exercise, which would require Nigerians to show proof of their citizenship to soldiers, had received heavy criticism from different quarters. But, the army in a fresh statement denied the operation saying that the report emanated from a fictitious group, Bricks company, which has nothing to do with the Army.
The statement which was issued by the Acting Director Nigerian Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa described the report as mischievous. It reads: “Following the widespread apprehension on the purported Nigerian Army (NA) operation positive identification from 1 November to 23 December 2019, as mischievously peddled on the social media by a hitherto unknown and fictitious organization the so-called Bricks company, which alleges that the NA will conduct the operation and went ahead to state how the operation will be conducted by the Army. “Specifically, Bricks alleges that – “residents shall witness large numbers of uniformed Nigerian Army personnel parading the roads in an exercise known as OPI”.
“The NA wishes to inform members of the public that it has nothing to do with the so-called Bricks company and its illusionary OPI, it is not an Army operation and the NA does not create any operation with such name or abbreviation in all its operations across the nation in a manner maliciously presented by the so-called Bricks company.
“Similarly, NA has never issued press release through private companies or third parties because it has a full-fledged Directorate that coordinates its public relations and Information aspects which has a robust cordial working relationship with the press. “Recall that in order to complement the ongoing operation in the North East, NA has an ongoing operation positive identification which is intelligence-driven, deliberate, targeted operation and not an independent operation but is integral and complementary to Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the North East. The aim of the operation is to arrest all those terrorists fleeing or escaping the war zone/Theatre of operation to a safe haven or peaceful areas in Nigeria.
“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenanced the hitherto faceless and mischievous Bricks company and its alleged NA OPI. “The NA wishes to use this opportunity to enjoin all Nigerians to cooperate with the NA and indeed all other security agencies by giving credible information that will assist in the
identification and eventual arrest of the fleeing criminals/terrorists in any part of our beloved country.”
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media