Protests over Naira scarcity and the destruction of bank ATMs in Oyo, Delta, and Edo
Oyo, Delta, and Edo are among the states across the nation where protests have erupted once more in response to the dearth of the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and the rejection of the previous naira banknotes.
This occurs less than two weeks after citizens of Ibadan, Oyo State, protested in the streets over the hardship brought on by the switch to new naira notes and the increase in fuel prices.
On Wednesday, violent protests took place in Ibadan and Udu, close to Warri, the commercial center of Delta State.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBNposition )’s that banks nationwide should not accept old cash sparked the protests, despite the Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily postpone the central bank’s February 10 deadline.
Since then, the CBN and the governors of many states, including Kano, Ogun, and Ondo, have been at odds over the issue. The governors have criticized the central bank and/or the banks in their respective states for continuing to accept the old currency.
There were protests in many areas of Ibadan, including Mokola, which caused congestion on the Eleyele/Eruwa route.
Some cars were forced to turn around while others were forced to turn around and go home because of the demonstration.
The Mokola Road was converted into a football field, which halted all commercial activity.
As many inhabitants turned to long distance treks, the majority of the major roadways were abandoned.
A group of fish vendors complained to a private radio station in Ibadan that they had sold all of their goods on Tuesday and had accepted the old notes, but that when they arrived at the bank’s safe deposit box to deposit the money, nobody would sell to them.
In spite of the intense security, crowds were spotted gathered in front of the CBN office in Dugbe, ready to exchange outdated naira notes.
In Delta, the continued rampage destroyed automated teller machines (ATMs) that belonged to various local banks while blocking the main roadway with bonfires and other items at their disposal.
Angry youngsters demonstrated against the lack of the new, redesigned naira notes and the public’s rejection of the previous notes.
Before moving to the freeway, the protests began near the Orhuwhorun junction.
Bank employees and clients had to flee for safety after the mob damaged part of the buildings by hurling stones and other objects at the business.
Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State, has meantime urged restraint and tolerance.
Charles Aniagwu, the state’s commissioner for information, issued a statement that included Okowa’s appeal.
He urged citizens to maintain their composure while also pleading with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other monetary authorities to take additional measures to increase the amount of money in circulation.
The statement said, in part, “We appeal to our brothers and sisters throughout the state to maintain calm in spite of the current tribulations they are going through as a result of the scarcity of naira notes in the country.”
“As a government, we are aware of your plights, but we ask that you have patience with the monetary authorities as they work to increase the nation’s money supply.
We understand your suffering and worries, but burning down a bank that employs our people won’t bode well for us as a country and won’t help address the problem—rather, it will make things worse.
In order to ensure that more money is released to the country’s banks, we once again implore everyone to put down their weapons.
The governor’s appeal follows demonstrations by some state residents in the Orhuwhorun hamlet in the state’s Udu Local Government Area (LGA), where it was allegedly set on fire to a bank’s ATM gallery.
Following what some eyewitnesses claimed was an inability to get cash at the banks, Edo Chaos broke out across several banks on Akpakpava road in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.
Residents who were upset along the route began to light bonfires.
Some of the incensed locals asserted that gunfire caused the deaths of some people who had gone to the banks to withdraw cash.
Early on Wednesday, there were minor protests in Ibadan, the state capital, according to the Oyo State Police Command, but they were quickly put under control.
According to spokeswoman Adewale Osifeso, “There were pockets of protest this morning by some irate bank clients.”
He claimed that when police were sent in to maintain order, no one was arrested.
Since the Command took all necessary steps to prevent a collapse in law and order, normalcy has restored.
According to locals, the commotion erupted at the Dupe, Mokola, Ogunpa, Apata, and Iwo Road neighborhoods when irate bank clients protested because they were unable to access their money or exchange old notes for new ones.
Local journalist Remi Feyisipo told AFP that “major routes were blocked while banks, shops, and other businesses were closed.”
He claimed that the rejection of the old notes by merchants, gas stations, and transportation companies was another reason why the protesters were upset.
Used tire bonfires were created by the demonstrators in an effort to obstruct traffic and movements.
The administration of Edo State responded to the demonstrations in Benin City by criticizing the previous governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Chris Nehikhare, the state’s commissioner for information, claimed that the protests go beyond the shortage of fresh naira notes.
Currency Swap Suit
The issue concerning the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira exchange policy was postponed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Wednesday until February 22 in order to hear the consolidated lawsuits filed by 10 states.
The court added the states of Katsina, Lagos, Cross Rivers, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, and Sokoto as co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit contesting the Federal Government’s Naira Redesign policy.
In a same vein, the Supreme Court sided with the states of Edo and Bayelsa in backing the Federal Government’s implementation of the naira swap scheme.
The three wronged states, Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi, who set off the lawsuit, were joined by the six states in their individual requests for joinder.