Naira protest: Police arrest suspected hoodlums for allegedly stockpiling arms in Oyo

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The Oyo State Police Command reports that it has detained some suspected hoodlums for allegedly stockpiling and smuggling weapons into the state in order to incite violence while posing as peaceful protestors against the shortage of naira notes and fuel.

Adebowale Williams, the state’s commissioner of police, announced this at a security summit that the command organised on Friday in Ibadan to ease the tension brought on by the shortage of fuel and new naira notes.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN), Association of POS Operators, market leaders, traditional rulers, and religious leaders all attended the summit.

Williams claimed that the command had discovered plans by some groups to carry out vicious attacks in specific areas of the city of Ibadan, and that some of them had admitted to smuggling weapons into the region.

He said that the duty of the police was to maintain and enforce law and order and, where necessary, enforce peace and arrest perpetrators of crime and prosecute them.

Willams said that citizens had the right to peaceful protests and assembly, stressing, however, that some individuals used such opportunity to cross lines by being violent and causing anarchy in the process.

He appealed for the cooperation of all stakeholders, adding that the police and other security agencies would continue to carry out their mandates of maintain law and order.

“It is important to reiterate that attacks on policemen and other law enforcement agents shall not be tolerated.

“All stakeholders in Oyo State must say ‘no’ to the agents of disintegration in our midst and continue maintaining our renowned reputation of a state with a relatively peaceful ambience,” he said.

Speaking at the occasion, the CBN Controller in the state, Mrs Foluke Oluduro, appealed to the public to remain calm, especially on the issue of scarcity of the new naira notes.

Oluduro said that CBN was doing all it could do to ensure that the redesigned naira notes go round and that its efforts were not sabotaged.

She said that the introduction of the new naira was not aimed at causing hardship for the masses but improving the nation’s economy.

The IPMAN Chief of Staff, Oyo State, Chief Bayo Adeyemo, said that members of the association had been sourcing for fuel outside Ibadan, as NNPCL deport did not have the product.

Adeyemo said that the association was doing everything possible to make fuel available at affordable price.

Other stakeholders, who spoke at the summit, commended the police for ensuring that the protest did not get out of control. (NAN)

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