Naira Scarcity: Angry Warri Youths Attack First Bank, Burn Access Bank
Customers stage protest in Warri, Delta state, 15th February, 2023

Naira Scarcity: Angry Warri Youths Attack First Bank, Burn Access Bank

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A group of angry youths in Warri, Delta State, on Wednesday set an Access Bank branch office ablaze in protest against persisting scarcity of naira notes.

A viral video showed protesting youths around the Udu Road axis of Warri, disrupting vehicular movement and destroying valuable facilities.

An eye witness, who shared a video of the incident via a Twitter handle, @sabiboiharry, said: “Breaking! Massive protests are ongoing in Warri, around the Udu road axis, over the CBN’s order to stop the old Naira as legal tender. Access Bank on fire.”

In a similar development, some angry youths in Abeokuta, Ogun State vandalised one of the branches of First Bank while protesting the unavailability of naira notes, as a result of the ongoing CBN’s monetary policy programme (Naira redesign and cashless Policy)

The protest was also captured in a video showing protesters throwing stones and destroying some properties within the bank’s premises.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had fixed February 10 as the new deadline for the exchange of old naira notes for redesigned ones, having initially fixed January 31 as the deadline.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians are still unable to obtain the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and could not also perform some online bank transactions, resulting which has compounded their challenges in taking care of their financial needs.

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This forced youths and some residents of the state to stage protests.

It was also gathered that one of the protesters sustained gunshot injuries during the protest. It was not clear who fired the shot, the police or the thugs.
Delta State Police Command was yet to comment on the development as of the time of filing this report.

There was a similar occurrence in Benin, as angry residents mainly youths on the street tried to gain entry into some commercial banks while the security personnel were also seen on the ground from the video repelling the angry youths, firing gunshots. Voice of a bank staff was heard lamenting and asking why she came to work today.

Also, some residents of Ondo town in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Wednesday, stormed the streets to protest the prolonged scarcity of new Naira notes and the rejection of old Naira notes by banks.

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The residents, mostly youths, were seen marching on the streets, staging a peaceful protest.

The protest which was taking place at the popular Akure Motor Park roundabout at the time of filing this report has led to road barricades, leading to traffic gridlock on the road.

Bonfires were made on the road as men of the Nigeria Police Force were also seen on the ground apparently to monitor the protest and ensure it does not degenerate into anarchy.

In Ilorin, Kwara State capital, roads were barricaded in protest of the scarcity of the new Naira notes and rejection of old higher currency denominations by traders in the Oloje and Oko-Olowo areas of the city.

Peter Okoye, PBA Journalism Mentee
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