Scene of protest over scarcity of new naira notes and fuel in Ondo state. Photo: Dupe Isename.
Banking activities were grounded on Wednesday in Ondo State as angry youths protested the scarcity of petrol and cash crunch, which has put citizens in severe hardship.
The protesters, who converged on the popular road block junction in Akure, the Ondo State capital, defied the “no protest” order earlier issued by the Ondo State Police Command.
A detachment of police officers and other security operatives were however stationed nearby, observing the protests.
The youths, who displayed placards with various inscriptions, demanded that the government finds a solution to the lingering fuel scarcity and cash crunch, in order to save the populace from continued hardships.
One of the protesters, Femi Odeh, told Radio Nigeria that the protests would continue for the next two days for government to understand their plight.
Due to the protests, banks in the metropolis shut down services to customers, with only a few ATM machines functioning as many banks were closed to the public.
A bank customer, Alhaja Fola Azimi said she could not carry out the scheduled transaction she planned to do at the bank, saying the situation had caused a setback for her business.
Similarly, Commercial banks in Akoko area of the state hurriedly shut their operations over rumors of violent attack attacks.
Customers who had been at the banks for transactions were reportedly told to move out of the banks premises.
A bank customer, Oye Ajileye, who said he went back disappointed, however applauded the supreme court judgement on the deadline for the old naira notes and urged the CBN to obey the court order.
Meanwhile, the state capital and other towns have remained calm as residents went about their businesses.
In the meantime, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ondo State has suspended its state’s campaign rallies .
The party’s state chairman, Ade Adetimehin said the decision was taken in sympathy with residents of the state over the current financial and fuel crisis.
Reporting by Dupe Isename; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor