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Siege scare: banks shut branches prone to protests


Ladapo Kolade

Banks shut branches prone to protests from customers yesterday in Lagos in a cautious move to cut the risk of violence and damage to properties.
In Ejigbo, Oshodi-Isolo LGA, the customers could not gain access to the branches of First Bank, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank as of 10 am yesterday.
Staffers of a bank’s branches in Oshodi-Isolo and Shomolu Local Governments told Echonews that management advised them to stay at home until there is enough cash to meet the rising rush for cash.
” We are waiting for the email that will direct us to resume work. We received a million new notes at our branch on Monday. It could not go round the staff of the branch not to talk of customers,” a bank worker told Echonews.
Asked to comment on the allegation of the Central Bank that bank branch managers were hoarding the new notes to sell to POS merchants the marketing officer said it is untrue.
” Customers drive our business and rely on us for their cash needs. We can turn our back to them in their time of need,” he said.
He spoke as the Supreme declared a verdict giving a new lease of life to the old nites till June this year.
Suspending the apex bank’s deadline to stop the use of old notes tomorrow February 10, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on the suit brought by Kogi, Kaduna, and Zamfara states till February 18 next week.

Abdulhakeem Mustapha who filed the suit contended that the management of the process of swapping old notes for new threatened public law and order as it has ignited protests across the country.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress has hailed the verdict.

In a statement signed by Bayo Onanuga, the Director, Media & Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Tinubu praised
the Governors of the 36 states for standing on the side of the Nigerian people over the Central Bank’s new Naira and cashless policies that have subjected the masses to pains.


According to Asiwaju Tinubu, the Governors especially the APC Governors who instituted the suit against the CBN and Federal Government at the Supreme Court acted well on behalf of the hapless Nigerians who have been made to bear the brunt of the Naira redesign policy that has been poorly implemented.
His words: “I want to salute the courage of our Governors and most especially the Progressives Governors in APC who acted to save our country from avoidable and dangerous political crises and social unrest which the Central Bank policy on new Naira notes has brought on our country.

“Our country was dangerously careering toward anarchy and political and economic shutdown.  But with the Supreme Court interim ruling, our country has been pulled back from the precipice. We thank our Supreme Court Justices for ruling wisely on the side of the people who have been subjected to undue agony and pain since this policy was announced.