The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Wednesday, paid a visit to Gabriel Michael, who was hit by a stray bullet during the protest on the cash scarcity which rocked Abeokuta, the state capital, on Tuesday.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after ascertaining the recovery of the victim who is receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba, Abeokuta, Abiodun urged the residents of the state not to resort to violence as a result of cash crunch, noting that breaking, looting banks and smashing ATM terminals will not solve the problem.
The state helmsman who also pleaded with the people of the state to remain calm as the government was doing its best to rescue the situation in the state, insisting embarking on civil unrest would worsen the already tense situation.
He noted that the supply of the new currency seems to be the major problem, urging the people of the state to be patient and refrain from attacking bank staff, who he said are also human beings and in need of cash.
“I want to plead with everyone in Ogun State, your governor is doing everything humanly possible at this time. We’ve spoken to Mr President and the Governor of Central Bank, I have been to the Central Bank, I have met with the bankers and you can see the situation is evolving positively, I have met with our royal fathers and Baales, please, bear with us.
“We cannot resort to violence, looting banks and breaking ATMs will not solve the problem. You will only create fear in the minds of the bank staff and they won’t open the banks. So, if there is supply of cash in the banks and they are not open, we will still be just as frustrated. Please do not take it out on the bankers.
“The money is not there, the supply is the problem, think about it, three to four weeks ago, you didn’t have to break any bank, you didn’t have to stand in queue at any ATM because there was supply. So, obviously, it is the speed with which CBN is replacing the new notes with old notes, that is the problem and I am sure that as you can see, all hands are on deck to ensure that this is dealt with and resolved.
“Please, do not resort to any form of violence, this is not who we are in Ogun State.
We are a peace-loving people, we are the Gateway State, we are the industrial capital of Nigeria, we are not violent people, we are going to get over it, let us continue to join hands together, let us be peaceful and orderly,” the governor stated.
Abiodun, while acknowledging the staff of the Federal Medical Center for responding quickly when the victim was rushed to the hospital, noted that such situations could have been averted if the people were patient with the government.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to continue to invest in human resources and match the investment with the much needed equipment.
“One of the take aways from this is that we have local capacity, if the government can continue to invest in our human resources and match it with equipment, we can save lives of our people.
“And I believe that from COVID-19 and the experience we learnt from COVID-19, we have continued to build capacity and that is why we’ve been able to intervene like we have done with this boy’s life,” he said.
Abiodun, who also charged parents, guardians, youths and students to ensure that the protests do not degenerate into an unpleasant situation, submitted that “you can see what has happened yesterday, we almost lost a life. Thank God that he is alive, we do not want to lose any life, the life of every citizen of Ogun State is very important to me”.