From Toba Adedeji,Osogbo


The Osun Government said on Friday that its decision to deport illegal miners who violated the ongoing lockdown to sneak into the state from Zamafara was to check the spread of COVID-19.

Information Commissioner Funke Egbemode said in a statement yesterday that the planned deportation of miners was a precautionary measure to contain community transmission of the virus in the state.

The state,according to the commissioner,is taking a cue from President Muhammadu Buhari’s ban on all interstate travels and movement during the lockdown.

“We believe in the unity of the nation but will not hesitate to take actions against those who breach its boundaries and try to jeopardise the health of its people,” Egbemode said.

Continuing,she said:“The State of Osun has shown highest regards to the respective state governments of the concerned people by attempting to return them to their places rather than prosecuting them under the State’s Emergency Regulation.

“Every State in the country is upscaling its security measures in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and other vices.

“Zamfara State Government, a few days ago, arrested some suspected illegal miners in the state.

“If ‘alleged’ illegal miners are abhorred in Zamfara, why then should the State of Osun be crucified for being safety conscious.”

The commissioner said although the government recognised the right of every Nigerian to live anywhere within the country, it would, however, act within legal and moral boundaries by returning illegal miners to their last known addresses.

The Special Adviser to the Zamfara Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, had on Thursday accused the Osun State government of acting in bad taste by seeking to deport the illegal miners.