JUST IN: Residents shut Benin’s CBN as fuel and naira scarcity protests spread to Ondo, Ogun

Hundreds of protesting Edo State Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) have shut the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Benin branch in Edo State over the scarcity of fuel and new naira notes.

The protesters also made the dualised and ever-busy Akpakpava Road in Benin where the CBN’s branch is located near the popular Ring Road impassable to commuters many of whom groaned and opted for alternative routes.

EDOCSO members, who were armed with placards and banners bearing anti-CBN inscriptions and chanting anti-government songs, declared they would continue with the peaceful protest until the needful was done.

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One of EDOCSO’s leaders, Comrade Omobude Agho, called on the CBN to quickly make the new naira notes available to end the suffering of Nigerians.

Agho alleged CBN’s Governor Godwin Emefiele deliberately wanted to subject Nigerians to untold hardship a few weeks before the general elections.

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The EDOCSO leader insisted the protesters would remain at the main gate of CBN in Benin, not minding the inconvenience.

Armed security personnel at the CBN displayed professionalism and maturity by not harassing or molesting the peaceful protesters.

Similarly, several protesters on Tuesday took to the streets of Ondo State to express frustration over the scarcity of naira notes and Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), popularly called petrol.

The protesters, who are mostly youths barricaded the popular Benin-Ore Expressway, thereby preventing vehicular movement and other activities.

It was learnt that the police in the state had warned residents against any protest but the demonstrators openly defied the order.

There have also been reports of the ongoing protest in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital over the issue of naira and fuel scarcity hardship being faced by Nigerians.

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It was gathered that Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta were taken over by the protesters, making bonfires and chanting anti – CBN songs.

The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised as the protesters attempted to set it ablaze.

Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the protest to The Nation, said officers are monitoring the situation to prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.

Oyeyemi, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said a group of boys is involved, stressing the Command was studying the protesters to know whether they are Okada riders or not. 

 

Although the police stormed the locations and dispersed the protesters, they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene in greater intensity and made bonfires with disused tires.

The situation disrupted vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran off the road in safe directions to avoid the protesters.

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