At least three banks were torched on Monday as protest over scarcity of new naira notes rocked the Sagamu area of Ogun State.
The police spokesperson in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the development in a telephone chat with Channels Television.
According to him, Union Bank, First Bank and Keystone Bank branches were attacked by protesters on Monday.
He, however, said policemen have been deployed to the area to quell the situation.
“We are in Sagamu now. The place is seriously burning,” Oyeyemi said. “They attacked Union Bank and First Bank as well as Keystone Bank. We are there right now.”
Similar protests broke out across states in Nigeria amid scarcity of new naira notes and petrol. Banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were vandalised by aggrieved citizens whose moneys are trapped in the banking system.
President Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday banned old N500 and N1,000 notes and extended the validity of old N200 notes till April 10, 2023 but at least 10 governors have approached the Supreme Court to step aside the directive of the President in the case set to hear on February 22.
The cash crunch and consequent riots come just a few days to the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, spreading fears about the safety of voters on Saturday but the police and other security agencies have assured citizens of maximum safety amid the polls.
‘Criminal Elements To Exploit Protest’
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Frank Mba, has assured residents of the state of the resolve of the Command to protect lives and property, prevent breakdown of law and order, and improve public safety and security.
The CP further noted that intelligence at the disposal of the Command indicates that some criminal elements are planning to take advantage of the challenging economic situation to disrupt the peace being enjoyed in the State.
He therefore warned that the Police, will not fold its arms and allow persons with criminal intentions, to hide under any guise whatsoever, to unleash mayhem on residents, private and public property, and critical national infrastructure, including banks and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The CP assured that necessary security architecture has been emplaced to protect the peace loving people of the state.