Protesters Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, Attacks, Ogun
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Protesters, on Friday, blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in Ogun State following the rejection of old 500 and 1,000 naira notes in the state.

The protesters, who blocked the Sango-Ota, Ifo, Papa, and Itori axis on the ever-busy Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, said petrol stations in the state have since been rejecting the old naira notes from customers.

The protesters were seen playing football on the expressway while motorists and passengers were stranded for several hours.

A commercial driver, 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.

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“Petrol stations are supposed to be collecting these old notes because we (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,” the driver 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 they decided to express their grievances because of the non-acceptance of the old N500 and N1,000 notes.

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

Reacting, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, warned protesters against disrupting public peace on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

Oyeyemi said the people have the right to protest, stressing that 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 added that all Area Commanders of the police have been deployed to maintain and restore peace on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, said the old N200 should be used with the new notes till April 10, 2023, while the old N500 and N1,000 currency ceased to be legal tender in the country.

The Star

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