One person has been feared killed following a riot on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital over the scarcity of the new naira notes. Following the introduction of the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes by the apex bank, Nigerians have continued to experience nationwide scarcity of the naira.
Some area of Abeokuta also witnessed some protests by angry residents as they lament the hardship the situation has subjected them to. The crisis was said to have been commenced at a branch of GTbank in the Asero area of Abeokuta, where customers had queued since 4 am but could not withdraw cash. The protesters were said to have had attempted to attack the bank but they were repelled by the police following a prompt intervention.
It was observed that there were burnfires in many areas as police officers mobilized at strategic areas to maintain law and order. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, called for calm, saying the authorities were bringing the situation under control. He identified the affected areas as Panseke, Sapon and Asero, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, has put all the Area Commanders on red alert as a result of the protest.
The police spokesman said the deployment of operatives to the flash points is necessary to prevent hoodlums from looting people’s properties. According to him, the demonstration is unnecessary as it will aggravate the situation in the state. “People suppose to exercise patience. This demonstration will just aggravate the situation because when you are demonstrating, the bankers will have fear of being attacked. They will shut down and that will worsen the situation. “The people of Ogun State should eschew violence. They should endure a little so that the situation will be brought under control.