Naira scarcity: Violent protest in Ilorin, five arrested

Violent protests erupted on Wednesday erupted in Ilorin, Kwara state over the hardship encountered by residents following the rejection of old naira notes by traders and commercial transporters.

The protests started from the Oko-Olowo market axis and spread to Oloje, Alore, Omoda and Adangba areas of the Ilorin metropolis.

Motorists deserted the roads as tires were set on fire to disrupt the free flow of traffic, while commuters were stranded while the protests lasted.

Findings revealed that trouble started from the Oko-Olowo market in the outskirts of the state capital following disagreements over the rejection of old naira notes for transactions between traders and transporters.

The situation has, however, been brought under control by the state police command, and normalcy restored, with five suspects now in police custody in connection with the incident.

Reacting, the Kwara State Police Command said “I woke up to an unlawful burning of disused tires on some major roads in the Ilorin Metropolitan Area this morning, inspite of the earlier warning by the Command against such unwholesome behaviour by hoodlums in the wake of the Naira note swap.

A statement by the spokesman of the command SP Okasanmi Ajayi, in Ilorin on Wednesday, said the Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Police Command, CP Paul Odama, has ordered aggressive motorized and foot patrols of the metro.

He advised parents and guardians to warn their children or wards to avoid being used as canon-fodders by disgruntled political activists, as anyone arrested in the process of committing any crime, either as a result of the fuel or Naira challenges, would 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,” the statement added.

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