Protest Rocks Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
Residents of Ibadan, Oyo State have taken to the streets to protest the lingering fuel and currency scarcity in the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) late last year introduced newly-designed N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and gave a January 31st deadline to phase out the old notes.
The deadline was later extended to Feb 10 following the outcry that greeted the policy.
Despite the extension, the new notes are scarce and Nigerians are finding it difficult to get the old ones.
Amid the currency crisis, there has been a steady increase in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) which has caused long queues at filling stations across the nation.
The situation forced some residents of the Oyo State capital to take to the street, asking the authorities to urgently address the situation.
The roads leading to the Iwo area of Ibadan were deserted as the protesters barricaded them. They were also burnfires on the road and reports suggest that a commercial bank was attacked in the process.
Speaking to newsmen about the situation in Ibadan, a resident of the city, said the protesters started a bonfire near the Oyo government house before they were dispersed by police officers.
He said the activities of the protesters resulted in traffic congestion in the capital city.
“The protest started at the Agodi gate, at the intersection that leads to the state secretariat and the government house.
The protesters started a fire near the secretariat and around the spare parts market but they were quickly dispersed by security personnel (Operation Burst) from the secretariat,” he said.
“But the protesters didn’t leave the market. They continued bonfires and this situation has now caused vehicular obstruction around those areas, even leading to Iwo road, the protest is hot. The people are tired of the long queues at banks and at petrol stations.”
Another resident, said “there is trouble” in Ibadan, as “protesters have started burning tyres in different areas of the state”.
“There is trouble in Ibadan right now. I’m at Beere area presently, they have been burning tyres everywhere, from the Beere’s bus stop to Adekile, Labiran, everywhere, the protesters are burning tyres.”
Some residents also said POS operators are also being attacked because of the high fee they are charging on withdrawal.
The residents said the protesters accused the POS operators of collaborating with bank officials to withdraw large sums of the new naira notes while ordinary persons get little amounts after queuing for long hours.
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