Our Reporter, Abuja with Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Protests that erupted yesterday in Oyo State over the scarcity of the re-designed naira notes and the general hardship associated with the new currency policy, have escalated to Lagos, Rivers, Edo and Ogun States.
The protests have turned bloody in some areas even as banks in Lagos were forced to shut down following the destruction of some bank branches and Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, as well as Point of Sale, PoS by the irate mob.
Reports and viral videos show Lagos branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, besieged by angry protesters.
The situation has caused panic and apprehension across the state as residents live in fear of the unknown.
Security has equally been beefed up around some banks and strategic locations in the state.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has warned people against rejecting the old currency notes but despite the warning, media reports say residents still reject them.
There are fears that the protest could escalate in the coming days.
Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, respectively, have accused President Muhammadu Buhari, of using the naira re-design policy to instigate crisis in the country that could pave the way for the establishment of Interim National Government in the country.
While opposition politicians generally seem to be unperturbed or even happy with the naira re-design and the cashless policy as the election dates draw nearer, chieftains of the ruling APC, especially its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and APC governors, have been unhappy with the President and leader of their party for authorising the policy.
However, some policy analysts suggest that the protests could be politically motivated, with the governors of the ruling APC being the major critics of the naira re-design and the cashless policy it portends.