Youths in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State on Friday took to the streets to protest the ban of old N500 and N1000 notes by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
President Muhammadu Buhari in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday declared that old N500 and N1000 notes were no longer legal tender in Nigeria while old N200 notes would remain legal tender until April 10.
The pronouncement of the President appeared to have sparked off anger of the people as there had been protests across many cities on Friday. The protesters barricaded the Benin-Ore-Sagamu Expressway, hindering vehicular movements on the highway, chanting solidarity songs.
One of the protesters told our correspondent that the President’s broadcast on the old naira notes on Thursday had indicated that he was behind the action of the Central Bank of Nigeria which caused the scarcity of the new notes.
He said, “We the masses are suffering, people are hungry, we are protesting to show our grievances, there will be no movement of vehicles here today. What Buhari said yesterday has shown that he is the one that directed the CBN to make Nigerians suffer over the scarcity of new notes and rejection of old notes by the banks.”
Another protester, who identified himself as Ibrahim, said the protest was necessary for the President to know that his speech was not acceptable to Nigerians and should reverse himself.
“The Supreme Court had ordered the CBN to extend the deadline of the old notes but the President himself disobeyed the order of the Supreme Court and Nigerians are suffering and dying.
“For the President to tell us that the N500 and N100 old notes are no more legal tender while they are not making the new notes available is not acceptable to us.”