Police warn protesters against disturbing public peace on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway

IGP Usman Baba

The Police Command in Ogun on Friday warned protesters against disrupting public peace on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

The Police Spokesman in the state, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, gave the warning while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Ota, Ogun.

Oyeyemi said the people had the right to protest, but, they should not disrupt public peace.

“The police will not allow people to constitute nuisance by breaking the in the state,” he said.

The spokesman said all Area Commanders of Police had been deployed to maintain and restore peace on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

NAN reports that angry protesters blocked the Sango-Ota, Ifo, Papa and Itori highways on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, over the refusal of petrol stations to collect the old N500 and N1,000 notes.

A NAN correspondent who monitored the development observed that the protesters were seen playing football on the expressway while motorists and passengers were stranded for several hours.

A commercial driver, Mr Tope Bankole, said most petrol stations were the major cause of the protests because they refused to collect the old N500 and N1,000 notes.

Bankole said he had over N130,000 of the N1,000 notes, adding that he tried to use some of the money to buy petrol but the old notes were rejected.

According to him, petrol stations are supposed to be collecting these old notes because commercial drivers can only spend the money at filling stations.

“There would not have been a problem if the filling stations were collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes,” Bankole said.

He said the cash crunch, inability to withdraw money from ATMs and non-acceptance of old notes by filling stations affected the poor masses.

Bankole said the poor masses were fighting themselves while the rich people were not feeling the pain.

One of the protesters, Ismail Sanni, said the protesters decided to express their grievances because of the non-acceptance of the old N500 and N1,000 notes.

Sanni said the current cash crunch, inability to withdraw from the ATMs and rejection of the old notes had inflicted serious pains on the masses.

He said the inability of the masses to withdraw their money from the banks was frustrating the lives of the average Nigerian.

NAN reports that President Mohammadu Buhari, on Thursday, said the old N200 should be used with the new notes till April 10, while the old N500 and N1,000 notes ceased to be legal tender in the country.