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Naira crisis: Protests rock Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo as hoodlums destroy banks

Protests by aggrieved bank customers following the naira crisis occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) policy, Friday spread to Rivers, Lagos, Ogun and…

Protests by aggrieved bank customers following the naira crisis occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) policy, Friday spread to Rivers, Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.

In Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the protest took a dangerous turn as hoodlums destroyed some commercial banks.

The affected institutions are First Bank in Churchill and Keystone Bank along Aggrey Road, both in the old Port Harcourt township area.

Angry youths had barricaded Aggrey Road, Ikokwu, Okija Street, Mile 3, Gambia Street and the Station Road of the city.

The youth, who were protesting the non-availability of the new naira notes, set fire on the road, while commercial transporters and Point of Sale (POS) operators were chased out from the streets.

The Aggrey Road branch of Access Bank was torched, just as Automated Teller Machines were vandalised by the protesting youth.

In Ogun, many motorists and passengers were stranded on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway as protesters converted the every-busy road to a football pitch.

Angry protesters blocked the Sango-Ota, Ifo, Papa and Itori highways on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway over the refusal of petrol stations to collect the old N500 and N1,000 notes.

Also, protesters yesterday occupied Iwo Road in Ibadan, Oyo State, over the scarcity of the new naira notes and rejection of the old N1,000 and N500 denominations.

Daily Trust Saturday reports that the transport nerve centre of the state witnessed unrest as a result of lingering hardship in business transactions and livelihood.

Our correspondent observed an unprecedented number of crowd at the Ibadan branch of the CBN where people gathered in thousands to exchange their old notes with new ones.

Sanwo-Olu calls for calm

Daily Trust Saturday reports that the unrest spread across parts of Lagos State over the policy, with Mile 12, Ojota, Ketu, Agege, Ikotun, Epe, among others boiling. Anti-riot policemen were deployed to various flashpoints while the commissioner of police, Idowu Owohunwa was going round the troubled spots to ensure that normalcy was restored.

Also during the day, a crowd gathered at the CBN regional office in Marina, Lagos in protest over the policy.

Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed concern over protests in parts of the state, said to have triggered by the naira redesign policy.

The governor, in a statement, however, appealed to the protesters, saying there was no need for violence as the Supreme Court was on top of the matter.

By Victor Edozie, Port Harcourt, Adenike Kaffi, Ibadan & Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

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