Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has called for more patience and calmness among residents of the state over the challenge of naira scarcity which led to protests in some parts of Abeokuta, the state capital, on Tuesday.
The governor disclosed this shortly after he visited a resident hit by a stray bullet during a protest in the Sapon area of the town, at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta.
He explained that his government is doing everything within its power to address the situation that has subjected Nigerians to untold hardship.
The governor noted that destroying public property and resorting to other forms of violence would further escalate the tense situation in the state.
“I want to plead with everyone in Ogun State, your governor is doing everything humanly possible at this time. We’ve spoken to Mr President and the Governor of the Central Bank, I have been to the Central Bank, I have met with the bankers and you can see the situation is evolving positively, I have met with our Royal fathers and Baales, please, bear with us.
“We cannot result to violence, looting banks and breaking ATMs will not solve the problem. You will only create fear in the minds of the bank staff and they won’t open the banks. So, if there is a supply of cash in the banks and they are not open, we will still be just as frustrated. Please do not take it out on the bankers.
“The money is not there, the supply is the problem, think about it, three to four weeks ago, you didn’t have to break any bank, you didn’t have to stand in a queue at any ATM because there was supply. So, obviously, it is the speed with which CBN is replacing the new notes with old notes, that is the problem and I am sure that as you can see, all hands are on deck to ensure that this is dealt with and resolved.
“Please, do not resort to any form of violence, this is not who we are in Ogun State. We are a peace-loving people, we are the Gateway State, we are the industrial capital of Nigeria, we are not violent people, we are going to get over it, let us continue to join hands together, let us be peaceful and orderly,” the governor stated.
Abiodun, while acknowledging the staff of the Federal Medical Center for responding quickly when the victim was rushed to the hospital, noted that such situations could have been averted if the people were patient with the government.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to continue to invest in human resources and match the investment with the much-needed equipment.
“One of the takeaways from this is that we have the local capacity, if the government can continue to invest in our human resources and match it with equipment, we can save the lives of our people.
“And I believe that from COVID-19 and the experience we learnt from COVID-19, we have continued to build capacity and that is why we’ve been able to intervene as we have done with this boy’s life,” he said.
Abiodun, who also charged parents, guardians, youths and students to ensure that the protests do not degenerate into an unpleasant situation, submitted that “you can see what happened yesterday, we almost lost a life. Thank God that he is alive, we do not want to lose any life, the life of every citizen of Ogun State is very important to me.”