Osun Civil Societies demand immediate action on growing criminality

From John Dike, Osogbo

Osun Civil Societies Coalition and the Peoples Advocate, have called on security agencies in the state to arrest the growing ugly trend of thuggery, brigandage, cultism, political violence, kidnapping and all forms of criminality before it get out of hand

They said there are a lot of pockets of crimes and criminalities threatening the peace and safety of the people of Osun State, and that there is urgent need to address the situation especially as February 25 elections draw closer.

Addressing journalists at a press conference held at the Correspondents’ Chapel in Osogbo, Comrade Waheed Lawal, Chairman and Comrade Emmanuel Olowu, Secretary respectively, lamented the suffering Nigerians are going through especially on scarcity of fuel and the redesigned new naira notes.

They condemned the silence of President Muhammdu Buhari, and that of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefele over the policy of new redesigned naira notes and fuel scarcity at the time Nigerians are counting days to the elections.

.”There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians are going through hell in getting fuel and cash for personal use and business purposes.

“While we are not questioning the sincerity of the Federal Government on the financial policy, we are constrained to give volume to the murmuring, groaning and cries of Nigerians who have been badly hit by the economic dragon.”

According to them, judging by the pains being experienced by the common man in getting cash for their livelihood, it would not be out of place to declare that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is inconsiderate and insensitive to the plight of the citizens.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria led by Mr Godwin Emefiele has clearly been playing hide-and-seek game on the circulation of the new naira notes. We acknowledged the fact that there are saboteurs among the top echelon of the banking industries, but the CBN has not also released enough amount of the redesigned denominations to banks through which they can be disbursed to the generality of people.”

Leaders of the Civil Societies hinted that CBN is responsible for the ridiculous amount of cash being paid to the people over the counter, adding that most commercial banks are claiming that they don’t have enough cash contrary to CBN’s claims.

“Nigerians now queue for more than six hours to get cash from ATM. Some people are even unlucky as they will not be able to get cash at the end of the day after spending several hours on the queue.

“The withdrawal of the old naira notes and refusal of the CBN to release enough of the redesigned denominations amount to a deliberate attempt to punish Nigerians unjustly. This is highly condemnable.”

The group hinted that the scarcity of cash has crippled many businesses and further push millions of Nigerians far below the poverty line.

According to the statement: Petty traders no longer make sales because of cash transaction which their trading depends upon.

“We make bold to say that this financial policy of the Federal Government is doing more harm than good presently. There should have been another way round to maintain a balance between cash control and the wellbeing of the people.

“It is pathetic that we are experiencing a double jeopardy – a situation where there is no cash, and there is no fuel. The scarcity of fuel has been lingering for months without any end in sight. It is unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari who directly supervises the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has been paying lip service to ensuring that fuel is available at affordable rate for Nigerians.

“The two key issues have taken away the dignity of majority of Nigerians. We have seen videos where men and women stripped themselves naked in protest against their inability to get cash. Car owners have for long been sleeping at filling stations for fuel

“Many people have been injured as a result of fights at filling stations and ATM centres. In Osun state, we have filling stations selling fuel between N350 and N400 per litre.

“The masses remain the end receiver of this economic mismanagement. The reverberating effect falls on the common people who goes to market to buy foodstuffs, board public transport and pay bills.”

The group noted that the scarcity of fuel and cash is a calamity that needed to be addressed urgently. “Nigerians have been pushed to the wall, and this ongoing provocation, if care is not taken, might trigger violent protest nationwide in which #EndSARS might be a child play.

“We jettisoned the planned protest in other not allow people with questionable characters to hijack it and perpetrate violence. The outcome of last week’s protest in Ibadan and Benin, is an indication that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpower.”

They, however, called on the security operatives and anti-graft agencies to go after bank managers and other officials who have been hoarding the new naira notes and sabotaging other processes of getting the new denominations widely circulated.

While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to be more sensitive to the plight of the people whom he pledged to protect and defend, they disclosed that any further delay in addressing the challenges occasioned by scarcity of these naira notes and fuel, may affect the elections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *