Tuesday, 23 July, 2024

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APC, PDP Clash as Protesters Attack Banks, INEC Office in Ogun


The ruling All Progressives Congtess (APC) , and the Peoples Democratic  Party (PDP) Monday, clashed over the protest that rocked the ancient town of Sagamu, the headquarters of Sagamu Local Government, area of the state on the scarcity of the new Naira  notes.

During the protest, irate protesters attacked branches of  four commercial banks and other public facilities in the town.

The attacked bank branches are Union Bank, Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank and Access Bank. While branches of Keystone  and Union banks, were burnt, the protesters, attacked branches of  Polaris and Access banks.

Other public facilities burnt, were the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), located within the Sagamu Local Government  Secretariat while furniture and other property of the local government, were also burnt.

In addition, it was gathered that the protesters, also burnt the Sagamu office of the Ibadan Electric Distribution (IBEDC) while they also made burnfire on Sagamu/ Lagos/Benin Expressway. 

The protest which was said to have begun in front of the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, spread to other parts of the town.

The angry youths had last Friday barricaded the Mowe axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in protest of the naira scarcity.

A youth leader in the town, Kayode Segun-Okeowo, described the act as a “motivated  destruction and not a protest.”

“This is not a protest. I’m a comrade and understand the ABC of protest. It’s motivated to cause destruction. “

But in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State governor, Kunle Somorin, the state government said it was reliably informed that some disgruntled members and candidates of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were sighted leading the demonstration.

The statement noted that “while the protests were purportedly against the ‘scarcity of naira notes, the real intention of these elements became obvious with the involvement of known PDP members”.

The statement reads further: “It is on record that the campaign tour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which moved through Simawa to Ogijo and back to Sagamu, where two roads were commissioned yesterday, ended without any hitch. The APC rally  was attended by tens of thousands of people at different locations, lasting from about 8.00 am in the morning to 8.00p.m in the evening without any violence, quarrels, or  disagreements whatsoever.

“We believe strongly that it was the success of the APC rally of yesterday that got the feeble opposition PDP frustrated and therefore made their members embark on the mindless destruction of properties.

“The governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has been on top of the fallouts of the naira re-design issues. The governor had visited the Central Bank headquarters in Abeokuta and some other commercial banks’ branches, made a state broadcast and empathize with the people with a reassurance that efforts are on to ameliorate the negative impacts of the controversial policy on the people. Ogun State is  also one of the states that has taken the Federal Government to court on the naira swap policy. 

“Attacks on innocent people and the destruction of private and public properties cannot solve the current problem but will rather worsen the situation. Therefore, we must not allow desperate politicians to mislead members of the public and use them as cannons to vent frustration. 

“Rather, our people should exercise patience and be law abiding while waiting to cast their votes for the party that has stood by the populace even at this critical period.

“Arrests have been made by the police, who immediately swung into investigation. Ogun State has been acknowledged as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria; and the government shall not fold its hands and allow the state to be defined by thuggery, violence, and arson. The full wrath of the law will be made to bear on the culprits, no matter who their sponsors are”.

Reacting to the allegations, the Ogun State Chairman of the PDP, Sikirulahi Ogundele, said that the outburst of the state government showed its sense of irresponsibility and insensitivity to the plights of the Ogun State people.

Ogundele, who expressed disappointment over what he described as “spurious allegations” from the ruling party, added that the APC had failed Nigerians and the people are reacting.

“The ruling party has failed the people and they are now reacting to the untoward hardship its policies had brought on them. Can they say that PDP was behind the protests in Oyo, Ondo and other states? Nigerians are just reacting. Instead of the ruling party to own up to Nigerians that their policies have brought hardship and pains on them, they are busy shifting blame on the opposition party. For the records, PDP has nothing to do with the protests in Sagamu or anywhere in the state. Let them go and check themselves. They are disconnected from the people. They should not put their failure on the PDP. They are disorganized and it is rubbing on their faces now that people are ready to vote them out of office, starting from this Saturday”, Ogundele stated 

Meanwhile, police in the state disclosed that no fewer than 30 persons had been arrested in connection with the violent protests.

According to the police spokesperson in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the arrested persons have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba.

Oyeyemi added that the combined team of policemen and military men were on the ground to monitor the situation.

Credit: This Day

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