Commercial Banks Close, Panic Spreads As Fuel, Naira Scarcity Protest Rocks Ondo State

Some residents of Ore in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest along the Ore-Benin expressway to register their displeasure over the scarcity of naira notes and fuel ravaging the nation.

The currency crisis took a new twist, as some commercial banks in Akure, the state capital, shut down their operations over possible protest and mob attacks from frustrated customers.

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THISDAY observed that as at 8:30am Tuesday, some of the commercial banks around Alagbaka, Akure were yet to open for operation as bank customers who were on long queues were shut out.

Meanwhile, the Ore protest, which caused gridlock in the commercial hub centre of the state, resulted in travellers plying the route getting stranded for hours before the intervention of security agencies.

One of the protesters, Prince Adebayo Adeyemi, said the recent hardship ravaging the country is quite alarming.

According to Adeyemi, for the past few weeks, residents of the town have suffered from the pain of naira scarcity, adding that the crisis might worsen if there is no significant improvement in the supply of the new currency nationwide as the February 10 deadline to phase out the old notes draws closer.

Also, the Ore protest comes despite police warning against any action or inaction that can lead to breach of the peace in the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Oyeyemi Oyediran, had on Monday, met with stakeholders in the state to address the issues of petrol scarcity, inability to access cash at financial institutions and hike in fuel price at various filling stations.

Oyeyemi noted that the command was aware of plans to embark on the protest as a way of showcasing their grievances, urging them not to.

The police commissioner also urged concerned citizens not to embark on any form of protest as it is not healthy, considering the current security situation of the state for it not to be hijacked by hoodlums or used as a means to perpetrate other heinous crimes in the state.

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