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Naira protests: Abiodun visits stray bullet victim at FMC, urges calm

By Boluwatife Williams
09 February 2023   |   5:42 am
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, yesterday, visited Gabriel Michael, who was hit by a stray bullet during the Naira scarcity protest in Abeokuta, on Tuesday.

Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker; (left) Governor Dapo Abiodun and the Head of Nursing, Mrs. Risikat Ashimi consoling the stray bullet victim of Tuesday’s protest over naira scarcity, Michael Gabriel, at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta on Wednesday.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, yesterday, visited Gabriel Michael, who was hit by a stray bullet during the Naira scarcity protest in Abeokuta, on Tuesday.

Speaking with newsmen after ascertaining the recovery of the victim, who was receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi Aba, Abeokuta, the governor urged the residents not to resort to violence as a result of cash crunch, noting that vandalism would not solve the problem.

Abiodun, who also pleaded with the people to remain calm, as the government was doing its best to address the situation, said embarking on civil unrest would worsen the situation.

He said: “I plead with everyone in Ogun State; your governor is doing everything humanly possible at this time. We have spoken to the President and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor. I have met with the bankers and monarchs too.

“We cannot resort to violence. Looting banks and breaking Automated Teller Machine (ATM) terminals will not solve the problem. You will only create fear in the minds of the bank staff and they won’t open their doors and attend to you. So, if there is supply of cash in the banks and they are not open, we will still be just as frustrated. Please do not take it out on the bankers.”

The governor blamed the speed with which CBN is replacing the new notes with old notes for the crisis, noting that every step was being taken to resolve the crisis.

“Please, do not resort to any form of violence. This is not who we are in Ogun State. We are a peace-loving people. We are the Gateway State, the industrial capital of Nigeria. We are not violent people. We are going to get over it. Let us be peaceful and orderly,” the governor pleaded.

While acknowledging the staff of FMC for responding quickly when the victim was rushed to the hospital, he noted that such situations could have been averted if the people were patient with the government.

He, however, called on the Federal Government to continue to invest in human resources and match the investment with the much-needed equipment.

“One of the take-aways from this is that we have local capacity. If the government can continue to invest in our human resources and match it with equipment, we can save lives of our people.

“I believe that from COVID-19 and its experiences, we have continued to build capacity; hence we have been able to intervene like we have done with this boy’s life,” he said.

Abiodun, who also charged parents, guardians, youths and students to ensure that the protests do not degenerate into an unpleasant situation, submitted: “You see what happened yesterday; we almost lost a life. Thank God that he is alive. We do not want to lose any life. The life of every Ogun citizen is very important to me.”