Naira Crisis: Ogun accuses PDP of masterminding Sagamu unrest - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, February 20, 2023

Naira Crisis: Ogun accuses PDP of masterminding Sagamu unrest

.....LG Secretariat, Banks destroyed 

..... we've arrested 30 suspects - Police

By Adewale Demilade

The Ogun State government has accused the State chapter of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) of masterminding the violent protest that engulfed Sagamu, the headquarters of Sagamu local government area of the State, during which innocent people, banks and public infrastructures were attacked.

The State government, therefore appealed to residents of the State that they must not allow desperate politicians to mislead and use them as cannons to vent frustration.

The State government reaction was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin while reacting to the violent protest that broke out in Sagamu on Monday morning.

The statement read, "Early this morning, a politically  motivated violent protest took place in Sagamu during which innocent people, banks and public infrastructures were attacked by some  disgruntled members of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose members and some of the party’s candidates were seen leading the demonstration".

"While the protests was purportedly against the “scarcity of naira notes”, the real intention of these elements became obvious with the involvement of the known PDP members".

"It is on record that the campaign tour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which moved through Simawa to Ogijo and back to Sagamu, where two road were commissioned yesterday, ended without any hitch". 

"The APC rally  was attended by tens of thousands of people at different locations, lasting from about 8.00 am in the morning and 8.00pm in the evening without any violence, quarrel or  disagreements whatsoever".

"We believe strongly that it was the success of the APC rally of yesterday that got the feeble opposition PDP frustrated and therefore made their members to embark on the mindless destruction of properties".

"The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been on top of the fallouts of the naira re-design issues. The Governor had  visited the Central Bank headquarters in Abeokuta and some other commercial Banks’s branches, met with the bankers forum , met with Mr President alongside with other Progressive Governors and made a state broadcast to empathize with Ogun people with a reassurance that efforts are on to ameliorate the negative impacts of the implementation of the CBN policy on the people".

"Attacks on innocent people and destruction of private and public properties cannot solve the current problem but will rather worsen the situation. Therefore, we must not allow desperate politicians to mislead members of the public and use them as cannon to vent frustration". 

"This is not who we are. We are Omoluabi. We are the most peaceful state in Nigeria and the industrial capital of the country."

"Our people should exercise patience and be law abiding, while waiting to cast their votes to the party that has stood by the populace even at this critical period".

"Our Law enforcement team are already investigating this unfortunate development and  any persons directly or indirect culpable will face the full wrath of the law no matter how highly placed".

It was earlier reported that angry residents, including youths in the early hours of Monday protested over the continued Naira scarcity of in some parts of Sagamu area of Ogun State, during which Sagamu Local Government Secretariat was vandalized.

They equally vandalized furniture, giant generating set, overturned table and files at the local government Secretariat and other property of the local government were also damaged.

The protesters also made bonfires at the local government Secretariat, Ita Oba, and GRA areas even as they disrupted vehicular movement and socioeconomic activities.

Schools and other public places, shops and offices were hurriedly shut over the development for fear of being attacked.

It was also gathered that banks in the town were under lock and key, while bonfires were made at the Sagamu junction on the Sagamu -Benin Expressway thereby causing gridlock.

Markets places in the town were equally deserted by traders and buyers, while an old generation bank, Union Bank and Keystone Bank were set on fire, while Access and Zenith Banks were destroyed.

The protest destrupted
commercial activities, as shop owners closed their shops and scampered to safety.

The Akarigbo and Paramount ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, appealed to Sagamu residents, particularly the residents to remain calm and shun violence.

"I appeal to all to remain calm and peaceful as we continue to engage the federal. 

"This policy is not from the state or local government. Therefore, the destruction of lives and properties will only compound an already bad situation. 

"I urge our people to continue to accept the old notes in line with the Supreme Court ruling. No person who accepts the old notes would lose out. I can assure you of that, and please hold on to that promise." 

"Further, I am also mandating all our market people to continue to accept the old notes. I hereby undertake that no one will lose out for possessing the old notes," he said.

On his part, Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo has appealed to residents of the State to remain calm in the face of daunting challenges created by the ongoing currency swap of the federal government so as not to create room for anti- democratic elements to hijack the election process.

Oluomo said, the effects of the ongoing fiscal policy of the federal government being implemented through the Central Bank of Nigeria had affected Nigerians negatively as able bodied men and women now spend better part of working hours at the banks’ ATM.

According to Oluomo, ” while it is important to acknowledge that the currency swap is good for the economy, the process of its implementation as currently being experienced has created a lot of socio-economic hardships for Nigerians, we should thus remain calm and not to allow anti-democratic elements to hijack the process.

We should endure to the last, and come out en-masse on Saturday to exercise our franchise for the candidates of our choice”, the Speaker counseled.

Reacting to allegations, the Ogun State Chairman of the PDP, Sikirulahi Ogundele, said the outburst of the state government showed its sense of irresponsibility and insensitivity to the plights of the Ogun State people.

Ogundele, who expressed disappointment over what he described as "spurious allegations" from the ruling party, added that the APC has failed Nigerians and the people are reacting.

"The ruling party has failed the people and they are now reacting to the untoward hardship its policies had brought on them. Can they say that PDP was behind the protests in Oyo, Ondo and other states? Nigerians are just reacting. Instead of the ruling party to own up to Nigerians that their policies have brought hardship and pains on them, they are busy shifting blame on the opposition party. For the records, PDP has nothing to do with the protests in Sagamu or anywhere in the state. Let them go and check themselves. They are disconnected from the people. The should put their failure on the PDP. They are disorganized and it is rubbing on their faces now that people are ready to vote them out of office, starting from this Saturday", Ogundele stated 

Meanwhile, police in the state disclosed that no fewer than 30 persons have been arrested in connection with the violent protests.

According to the police spokesperson in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the arrested persons have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba.

Oyeyemi added that the combined team of policemen and military men were on the ground to monitor the situation.

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