The house of representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the planned ‘operation positive identification’ by the military.
The call followed a motion introduced during Tuesday’s plenary session by Ndudi Elumelu, minority leader of the house.
The military had said the operation – a measure to tackle banditry and crime – would require Nigerians to provide proof of identity.
While raising the motion, Elumelu described the proposed operation as an infringement on the rights of Nigerians.
He said the exercise will be an “indirect state of emergency” if allowed to take place and that it contravenes the 1999 constitution.
Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, also kicked against the proposed plan which he said is not within the mandate of the army.
“It is not part of their mandate, we have the National Identity Management Commission and we have the security apparatus,” he said.
“Unfortunately we have been under siege by Boko Haram. They (the military) are simply belabouring themselves with jobs that do not concern them. We have to interrogate this through the committee on the army.”
Ahmadu Jaha from Borno state also expressed reservations over the operation which he described as a misplaced priority.
He urged the military to instead launch an offensive against Boko Haram and bandits in the north-east and north-west.
“From Abuja to Maiduguri is 14 hours under normal circumstances; if you ask for identification at every checkpoint, how many days will it take before passengers get to their destination,” he asked.