A new monetary policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sparked violent protests in several states, including Edo, Delta, and Oyo.
The policy seeks to phase out the old Naira notes and replace them with new ones, a move that has led to a shortage of cash and fuel, which is affecting daily life and business operations, New About Nigeria reports.
Footages obtained from netizens on Wednesday morning showed aggrieved protesters wielding clubs, machetes, and other dangerous weapons, invading banks and destroying other public properties in the affected states. The tension has continued to rise, with reports of more protests erupting in other parts of the country.
Initially, only three northern states – Kogi, Kaduna, and Zamfara – challenged the new monetary policy in court. However, when the matter came up before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, seven other states, including Lagos, Cross River, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, and Sokoto, applied to be co-plaintiffs in the suit. Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, also persuaded the court to allow it to file legal processes to nullify the new policy.
On the other hand, Edo and Bayelsa state threw their weight behind the FG and the CBN. The Supreme Court has adjourned the suit to Wednesday, February 22, and said it would consolidate all the cases, with all the states abiding by its decision on the matter.
The protests have caused widespread destruction of property, injuries, and loss of lives. The Nigerian government and the CBN must address the concerns of the aggrieved parties and work towards finding a solution that benefits all. It is crucial to manage the situation before it escalates further and poses a threat to the security and well-being of Nigerians.
Protest in Benin over non availability of new naira notes and people not collecting old naira notes pic.twitter.com/OFqQ5TPzqd
— Vanguard Newspapers (@vanguardngrnews) February 15, 2023