The Osun State government has reacted to claims by governor Bello Matawalle’s led government of Zamfara that it received from some of its citizens that Osun State branch of the Operation Amotekun had been authorized to arrest and forcefully retract them to their indigenous state.
Naija News understands that the move of deportation of citizens by the Osun State government was condemned by the Zamfara State government, describing it as a smacked of bad taste.
However, a reaction from the Osun government noted that the move was necessary as it was taken as part of its precautionary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Reacting to the incident, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation in Osun State, Mrs Funke Egbemode, stated on Friday, May 1 that the state is acting in accordance to the order issued by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in respect to the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
She said, “We’re deporting illegal miners who breached lockdown order in our state.”
“The action of the State was based on the ban President Muhammadu Buhari placed on all inter-state travels and movements,”
“The state government was taken aback by the misinterpretation of its statement in which it raised the alarm about the activities of illegal miners in the state and those breaching its lockdown orders,” Mrs Funke stated.
“The government recognizes the right of every Nigerian to live anywhere within the country but will, however, act within legal and moral boundaries by returning the illegal miners to their last known addresses,”
She added, “The state government believes in the unity of the nation but will not hesitate to take actions against those who breach its boundaries and try to jeopardize the health of its people.”
Mrs Funke noted that instead of prosecuting the miners under the state’s emergency regulation, the Osun State government displayed the highest regard for the respective state governments by deciding to send their citizens packing.
She reiterated, “Every state in the country is upscaling its security measures in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and other vices,”
It could be recalled that the Nigerian Police in Zamfara State a few days ago arrested two Chinese nationals for illegal mining in Bukkuyum local government area of the state.
The Chinese nationals identified as MM. Wang and Chun were paraded on Monday by the Zamfara police command.