Friday, June 9, 2023

Union, First Bank, Keystone set ablaze as Sagamu rioters protest rejection of old notes given by Gov. Abiodun

After accepting the invalid naira notes from Governor Abiodun’s agents, his supporters were disappointed when banks rejected the notes on Monday.

and • February 20, 2023
Protest in Sagamu
Protest in Sagamu

Residents of Sagamu area in Ogun are protesting the rejection of old naira notes by banks in the state. 

The rejection by the banks is in contrast to the false assurance given to them by Governor Dapo Abiodun on Sunday that the notes remain legal tenders for commercial activities in the state. 

Agents of Mr Abiodun had visited parts of the states over the weekend, wooing supporters to comply with the opposition that the governor and his APC counterparts had put up against the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) insistence on phasing out old naira notes before the general elections. 

The residents of the state accepted the cash disbursement based on the assurance but were disappointed when banks rejected the notes on Monday.

The situation was worsened by the continuing acute shortage of new notes which made many ATMs out of service and banks out of operation. 

The protesters expressed their frustrations against the governor’s failed assurance by pulling down his campaign posters and billboards alongside that of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, to make bonfires on major roads.

At press time, traffic flow has been disrupted in the town’s commercial hotspot along Akarigbo road and Sabo, a street that housed major commercial banks. 

The protests have now broken into full-scale violence as several bank facilities including the Sagamu offices of Union, First, and Keystone banks have been set on fire by protesting youths. 

In videos that have been shared by eyewitnesses on social media, the bank buildings were being burnt and vandalized with no security agency on-site to stem the wanton destruction of the facilities. 

The arson complicates the episodes of violence that have rocked the country and fueled by the economic hardship that was occasioned by the scarcity of cash.

Despite the violence and the glaring impracticability of achieving its aims alongside maintaining public peace and economic order, the President Muhammadu Buhari regime has insisted that it will not reconsider its position as regards the cash swap policy. 

Mr Buhari’s position violates a subsisting ruling of the Supreme Court which had ordered the presidency to cease the implementation of the policy.

The regime’s flagrant disregard for the country’s apex court, in its twilight, reinforces the public perception of the Buhari regime as an autocratic one, disguised in a democratic charade with scant regard for the rule of law and utter contempt for the country’s constitutional order. 

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