Ogun youth on rampage over naira, fuel scarcity - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Ogun youth on rampage over naira, fuel scarcity

..vandalise bank, political billboards, posters 

The peace enveloping  Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital was on Tuesday shattered as angry youths took to the destroying public infrastructure in protest of the scarcity of the new redesigned Naira notes and fuel.

The youths went on rampage vandalising political posters and billboards and blocking roads with bonfires.

Our correspondent learnt that the crisis was started at a branch of GTbank in Asero area of Abeokuta, where customers had queued since 4am, but could not withdraw cash.

It was also gathered that the protesters had attempted to attack the GTbank, but they were stopped by the prompt intervention of the police.

The riot, however spread to other parts of the metropolis like: Sapon, Ibara, Panseke and Adatan.

Our correspondent observed that schools and other businesses hurriedly closed to avoid being caught up in the melee.

The protest took a worse turn in Sapon area of the city as the protesters attacked a branch of First bank in the area, while the bank's Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was also vandalised.

A video trending also shows a young man who was reportedly hit by stray bullet during the ensued melee at Sapon. One of the shop owners around Sapon disclosed that everyone had to hurriedly close for the day so as not to be caught in the middle of the crisis.

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

While parents rushed to schools to bring home their wards at noon, relatives also called their loved on phone, asking them to stay safe and avoid being victims of the ongoing violent protest.

“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.

Contacted, the Ogun State police 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 vandalising other people's properties.

He expressed concerns that some of those leading the uprising do not have money to withdraw in their accounts.

“We have talked to them so that they won't turn the protest to 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.

The governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, had on Monday, stormed the Abeokuta branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria to seek revocation of limits to 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 distribution in order to ensure that no commercial bank and their agents hoard the new naira notes in the state.

The governor had expressed his disappointment over long queues of residents of the state at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), waiting to cash money from the system.

He had said that it was humiliating that those who were attended to were paid not more than two thousand naira per transaction. 

Abiodun, however, urged the CBN to ensure the availability of new notes at commercial banks for people to withdraw their money.

The governor explained that he was compelled to visit the state branch of the CBN as the "landlord to find out how we can collaborate to ensure that success of the CBN policy on the new notes and currency swap".

"I've met with the President and CBN governor. It is within the right of the CBN by law and as enshrined in the Constitution.

"Our people went out in their numbers but our people who deposited money and felt they would have as much money as they had deposited or need for their daily needs and welfare and wellbeing. 

"We've had to suspend our campaigns. I met with people over the weekend who said to me that they have not eaten for days, especially, those from the informal sector.

"As a governor, whose primary function is the welfare and security of our people, I need to find out how we can interact with you to see how we can improve on the current level of distribution of the currency in order to diffuse tension", Abiodun submitted.

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

"I want to use this medium to talk to our youths that when there is a problem, the solution is not to hit the streets and to start protest marches; we can not solve a problem with another problem.

" I want to encourage them that rather than sending social media announcements of impending disobedience around town, we are a very peaceful state, we are very orderly and we have spent a lot of time and energy in investing in that peace and security.

"You cannot because of this problem now want to begin to hit the street to shut down the system and by so doing, shut down investors. We are here in CBN, give us time to expect an end to this crisis," he demanded.

Earlier in his remarks, the state controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Wahab Oseni pleaded with the people to exercise patience. 

He assured  the people of the state that they will start having access to more cash as from Tuesday, February 6th, 2023.

Oseni while noting that the Ogun State branch of the bank has enough cash to distribute among commercial banks in the state, disclosed that the bank has come up with a plan that would see 40% cash disbursed to money agents, 30% paid across the counter and 30% paid through the Automatic Teller Machine.

He also added that Microfinance banks in the state have also been added to the plan of cash disbursement across the country.

At the meeting were representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria from Lagos and Abuja, Mr Adefuye Adeyemi and Mr Kayode Makinde while assuring the good people of the state that the situation will improve on Tuesday noted that the bank would ensure full compliance by commercial banks on the disbursement of cash.

Both the controller and the State government team led by Gov. Abiodun later had a session with commercial bank executives in his office on the modalities agreed with the apex bank to ease the naira scarcity facing the people

No comments:

Post a Comment