Protests: Obaseki calls for calm, orders deployment of security to protect banking assets, PoS operators.
urges CBN to make cash available to citizens
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged for calm among residents of Edo State, as security operatives have been deployed to protect banking assets in the state to ensure the disbursement of cash to citizens.
The governor made the call while addressing journalists at the Government House in Benin City, on Wednesday, after a closed-door meeting with heads of security agencies in the state.
Obaseki expressed displeasure over the protests in Benin City, the state capital, adding that the state government will do its best to ensure that residents in the state are able to withdraw their cash from the banks in the state.
He noted, “We just concluded our security council meeting over the incident that took place in our city today. It’s something we are concerned and very sad about. It is just a culmination of the pains and sufferings expressed by our citizens.
“As a government, we tried to do as much as we could have, to make sure that citizens are able to draw cash deposited in their accounts, and unfortunately, that has not happened the way we expected and it has led to some agitations and concerns by people in the city.
“From what happened today, we can tell clearly that the people who undertook the damages of banks and banking assets were not depositors as many of them were area boys. We met and resolved to restore security to the state and the banking institutions. Security men have been deployed and will remain in banking premises to keep calm.”
The governor added, “We are putting pressure on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) authorities to do what they should do to release cash to citizens and have requested for security to do so. The plan is that from tomorrow morning, security men would give support for disbursement of cash through POS operators in our markets and as soon as they can restore safety and sanity to the banks, then the bank will open to disburse cash to citizens.
“We want all citizens to be vigilant to make sure the situation is not hijacked so that things will not go out of control. We feel the pain of our people and as a government, we would continue to do everything we can to reduce the pain our people are going through.”
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (3rd from left) with heads of security agencies, after a closed-door security meeting at the Government House, in Benin City, on Wednesday, February 15, 2023.