Angry residents protest over Naira swap in Kwara

New naira notes

Some angry Kwara residents stormed some streets on Wednesday to show their grievances over the rejection of old Naira notes by commercial banks operating in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tension rose in the state when commercial banks stopped collecting the old Naira notes from customers, which forced traders to reject the old notes from customers.

NAN also reports that some of the residents of Ilorin started protesting on Wednesday by burning tires in Oyun, Offa-Garaji, Geri-Alimi and Oloje areas, among others.

In his reaction, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kwara, SP Okasanmi Ajayi, said that the command had arrested five suspects over the alleged public disturbances following their involvement in protests on the CBN new Naira policy.

He said the command had earlier warned against the protest and public processions under any guise because such unwholesome behaviour could be hijacked by hoodlums.

According to him, the command woke up to an unlawful burning of disused tires on some major roads in Ilorin Metropolitan Area on Wednesday morning.

“In spite of the earlier warning by the Command against such unwholesome behaviour by hoodlums in the wake of the Naira note swap.

“The situation has been brought under control, and normalcy has already been established.

“The Commissioner of Police in Kwara Command, CP Paul Odama, has ordered aggressive motorized and foot patrols of the city,” he said.

Ajayi advised parents and guardians to warn their children and wards to avoid being used as canon folders by disgruntled political activists.

“As anyone arrested in the process of committing any crime, either as a result of the fuel or Naira challenges, will be made to face the consequences of such actions alone.

“Once again, the good people of Kwara State are advised to go about their lawful daily endeavours.

“Enough security arrangements have been placed across the length and breadth of Kwara State to ensure the safety and security of law-abiding citizens and residents,” he added.

He explained that the five suspects already arrested in the course of the disturbances would be charged in court after the investigation.

NAN reports that some irate youths had blocked some major roads in Ilorin, the state capital burning used tires to protest the scarcity of the new Naira notes.

In the process, some cars had their windscreens or mirrors smashed by the hoodlums who hijacked what initially looked like a peaceful protest.