The Osun Government says it will start the deportation of illegal miners who sneaked into the state from Zamafara during the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Mrs. Funke Egbemode, the State Commissioner for Information, in a statement on Friday in Osogbo, said the planned deportation of miners was a precautionary measure to contain community transmission of the virus in the state.
Egbemode also said that the state government was following Presidential directive that banned all interstate travels and movement, stressing that the state’s boundaries were currently shut.
The commissioner, who noted that government recognised the right of every Nigerian to live anywhere within the country, said it would, however, act within legal and moral boundaries by returning illegal miners to their last known addresses.
She said Osun government was taken aback by the misinterpretation of its earlier statement in which it sounded an alarm about the activities of illegal miners in the state and those breaching its orders.
“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.
“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,” Egbemode said.
The commissioner said that the Osun government would continue to do everything within its power to protect its citizenry.(NAN)