Ogun boils as youths protest fuel, new Naira notes scarcity - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Ogun boils as youths protest fuel, new Naira notes scarcity

By Peter Adedoyin

Commercial activities were on Tuesday disrupted in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, following a protest by irate youths, who trooped into major roads in the metropolis to protest fuel and the new Naira notes scarcity

Vanguard reliably gathered that the protest began from a branch of Guarantee Trust Bank in the Asero area of Abeokuta, where customers had queued since 4am but could not withdraw cash.

It was gathered that the protesters had attempted to attack the GTBank, but they were repelled by the Police following a prompt intervention.

On Tuesday afternoon, the protesters blocked the busy Obantoko road, setting bonfires on the main road.

The riot also spread to other parts of the metropolis, including Sapon, Panseke, Ibara, Iyana-Mortuary, where political posters and billboards were destroyed.

It was observed that schools and other businesses hurriedly closed to avoid being caught up in the crisis.

While parents rushed to schools to take home their wards at noon, residents were seen frantically calling loved ones to stay safe and avoid being victims of the ongoing violent protest.

To avoid being attacked, taxi drivers and okada riders had to show solidarity by attaching leaves to their vehicles.

“We can’t withdraw our money, we can’t buy fuel, see long queues everywhere. There is no water, there is no light, yet these people are out there campaigning. What type of a nation is this? We must stop this nonsense,” one of the protesters could be heard in a video.

When contacted, the Ogun State Police Command spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident, saying policemen were monitoring the situation.

While saying calm had been restored in Asero, Oyeyemi warned the protesters against causing more hardship for Nigerians, especially by vandalizing other people’s properties.

He expressed concerns that some of those leading the uprising, do not have money to withdraw from any banks.

“We have talked to them so that they won’t turn the protest into the destruction of properties. Anybody who tries to destroy any property will be decisively dealt with. We have warned them.

“They are protesting that they can’t withdraw money and there is fuel scarcity. The funny thing is that those who don’t have N5 in their accounts are demonstrating that they can’t withdraw. This is uncalled for. We all have to be calm,” he said.

It would be recalled that the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, paid an unscheduled visit to the Abeokuta branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria to seek relief on the amounts that citizens can withdraw in exchange for deposits made in commercial banks.

The governor also offered to lend members of his cabinet to monitor cash distribution to banks to ensure that no commercial bank or their agents hoard the new naira notes in the state.

Abiodun later met with Bankers Forum, made up of managers of commercial banks in the state, and extracted a commitment from both the CBN and commercial banks to make cash available to bank customers from today (Tuesday).

The governor also appealed to the youths in the state not to embark on any civil unrest, stressing that such actions would only shut down the economy of the state and make things much more difficult.

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