Naira crisis: Sanwo-Olu places security men on red alert to foil violence


Sanwo-Olu addressing newsmen in Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday said security men have been placed on red alert across the state to prevent any outbreak of violence occasioned by Naira scarcity.

Poor implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Naira redesign policy is impoverishing the masses which had led to violence across the federation, including Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu also called on residents of the state to remain calm and continued to be law-abiding.

The Governor, at a news conference on Saturday at the State House, Marina, said there is no justification whatsoever for attacking public or private property.

”The law enforcement agents have received clear instructions to take full control and ensure zero tolerance for any and all acts of arson, violence and destruction,” he said.

He urged Lagosians to remain calm at this time, and avoid all forms of violence, arson and rioting.

According to him, even in the face of the difficulties and frustrations being faced by all, violence and destruction should not and would never be the answer.

”We have noticed with dismay the rampant incidents surrounding some of the players in the financial services value chain (POS Agents/Operators); as well as petrol station attendants who have taken the current challenges to mean an opportunity to extort hard working and law abiding Lagosians with extortionate service charges on funds withdrawal and sale of PMS.

”Let me appeal to those involved in such behavior to desist from such sharp practices. It is especially in difficult times,” he said.

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The Governor said in times like these “we all need to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper and do everything we can to contribute to lessening the hardships faced by our fellow Lagosians. This is not the period to sacrifice empathy, compassion, and humanity on the altar of profit making.

”To my good people of Lagos, please resist the opportunists who seek to take advantage of the anger and frustration that you all are feeling to hijack the situation and foment trouble.”

Sanwo-Olu said he knew that there were unscrupulous persons who want to sow seeds of violence and discord by their very utterances and actions, all with the view of robbing the people of the chance to cast their votes in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

“Do not allow them to use you to achieve their evil intentions. There is no justification whatsoever for attacking public or private property,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu enjoined all law-abiding Lagosians to carry out their lawful activities without fear, saying that as a government that fully understood the challenges that they were faced with, with regards to access to cash, “we are working very hard to provide palliative measures to lessen the burdens being faced.”

As part of these measures, he said he had already approved an immediate reduction in transportation charges for public- owned transport, across the Lagos State public transport system.

“We are also equally in discussion with private transport operators not to hike fares at this point of time, given the difficult circumstances in which many Lagosians find themselves.

”We have also since commenced the distribution of food packs, to the most vulnerable citizens, the people most impacted by this disruption in the supply of cash. We will continue to highlight more vulnerable groups within our distribution channels who would benefit from the palliatives.

”As we scale up the rollout of these palliatives, we ask for your continued patience and understanding. Remain calm and go about your lawful activities and duties. The Lagos State Government under my watch will continue to stand by, with and for the ordinary people of Lagos,” he stated.

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