The attention of Zamfara State Government is drawn to a story credited to the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Osun State, Prince Adeyanju Abdullahi Biniyo, where he alleged “an influx of Zamfara indigenes” into the state and described it as “dangerous”.
Describing the entrants as total strangers as if they are not Nigerians, Mr Biniyo is quoted to have said “They are received by their fellow Northerners who are already resident in the state”.
The report further quoted Mr Biniyo as describing the alleged Zamfara indigenes as having “sneaked” into their state and will be fished out and deported back to their state of origin by Omotekun.
Mr Biniyo also allegedly said “this portends great danger especially at a time like this when Osun is doing everything to avoid community transmission of covid-19”.
As if the entrants brought in war, he also called on the Osun indigenes “not to panic” as the state has instructed Omotekun to fish them out and ensure that any one escorting of trucks that offloads goods are turned back and escorted out of the state.
Doubtlessly, the above position as portrayed by the Deputy Chief of Staff is not statesmanly and smacks of bad taste. Indeed, it is condescending and totally negates good practices expected of leaders in a Federal setting such as Nigeria.
If indeed, there is an “influx” of Zamfara indigenes in Osun State, and the Government feels they “potend danger” due to covid-19, it is the responsibility of the state Government to quarantine them, test them and determine their status, not arrest them and turn them back to their “state of origin”.
In fact, that is the duty of all responsible Governments. Here in Zamfara state, the first ever two index we recorded are from other states, one of which is a lady from Lagos state. His Excellency, Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) did not turn them back “to their states of origin”, but quarantined them, had them tested and, today, they are getting the best of care in one of the fully equipped isolation centers in the state.
It is therefore, against federal law to instruct Omotekun to arrest “all Northern Youth who had escaped into the state by hiding in trucks” as quoted by Mr Binuyo for deportation back to their so-called state of origin.
Nigeria and the World at large is facing a serious and challenging pandemic. All civilised societies are joining hands together to fight the spread of this pandemic and even extending helping hands to others. It is therefore, disheartening that Osun state will take the path isolating assumed outsiders and segregating what should be a common fight by all Nigerians.