Again, protest has erupted in Ogun State over the naira scarcity, with videos online showing two banks set on fire in the Sagamu area of the state.
It was gathered that the violence broke out as early as 8am on Monday as a result of alleged stoppage of the banks’ operations with Automated Teller Machines reportedly not dispensing cash since last week.
The videos shared on Monday showed many residents watching as Keystone and Union banks were set ablaze with some youths holding planks in protest.
With bonfires, the protesters barricaded the Sagamu-Benin expressway preventing human and vehicular movements.
The Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, has called for calm.
A statement from the palace read, “I appeal to all to remain calm and peaceful as we continue to engage the Federal Government.
“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.”
On Friday last week, The PUNCH had reported how protest erupted in the Mowe-Ibafo area of Ogun State, with many residents blocking the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in protest of the woes and hardship caused by the lingering scarcity of the naira.
Reacting to the development, a Twitter user, @arranowanna wrote, “Kindly advise your friends, families and acquaintances to avoid any protests. Take your frustration to the ballots on Saturday. Don’t burn banks, don’t burn petrol stations, don’t burn government properties.”
Another user, @morningstar_305 wrote, “I just put a call through to the house and it was confirmed to me that keystone bank and union bank at ijoku has been set ablaze by angry citizens.”
While popular tweep, Pooja, wrote, “If you are in Sagamu, be careful cos there is a protest on new naira notes.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday last week, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in a national broadcast had said the old N500 and N1,000 notes were no longer legal tender in the country, however extending the validity of the old N200 note for 60 days, till April 10, 2023.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bola Oyeyemi, could not be reached as at the time of filing this report, as phone calls to his line were not responded to as well as text messages.