Ogun State government has described the violent protest in Sagamu early Monday morning as politically motivated.
This is coming even as the state Police Command said 27 persons have been arrested over the disturbance, while normalcy has been returned.
It was gathered that the protesters who had earlier gathered in front of the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, set up barricades on major roads thereby disrupting the free flow of traffic.
They later attacked two commercial banks at Ijoku in Sagamu destroying properties.
A youth leader in the town, Mr Kayode Segun-Okeowo, described the act as a “motivated destruction and not a protest.”
“This is not a protest. I’m a comrade and I understand the ABC of protest. It’s motivated to cause destruction.
“Those behind this must stop,” he told newsmen.
Segun-Okeowo also confirmed that two commercial banks were vandalised by the protesters.
The state government, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Kunle Somorin accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of being behind the mayhem.
The statement reads: “Early this morning, a politically motivated violent protest took place in Sagamu, during which innocent people were attacked while banks and public infrastructures were destroyed and razed.
“We were reliably informed that some disgruntled members of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose members and some of the party’s candidates were seen leading the demonstration.
“While the protests were purportedly against the ‘scarcity of naira notes’, the real intention of these elements became obvious with the involvement of known PDP members.
“It is on record that the campaign tour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which moved through Simawa to Ogijo and back to Sagamu, where two roads were commissioned yesterday (Sunday), ended without any hitch. The APC rally was attended by tens of thousands of people at different locations, lasting from about 8.00am to 8.00pm without any violence, quarrels, or disagreements whatsoever.
“We believe strongly that it was the success of the APC rally that got the feeble opposition PDP frustrated and therefore made their members embark on the mindless destruction of properties.
“The governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been on top of the fallouts of the naira re-design issues. The governor had visited the Central Bank headquarters in Abeokuta and some other commercial banks’ branches, made a state broadcast and empathize with the people with a reassurance that efforts are on to ameliorate the negative impacts of the controversial policy on the people. “Ogun State is also one of the states that has taken the Federal Government to court on the naira swap policy.
“Attacks on innocent people and the destruction of private and public properties cannot solve the current problem but will rather worsen the situation. Therefore, we must not allow desperate politicians to mislead members of the public and use them as cannons to vent frustration.
“Rather, our people should exercise patience and be law abiding while waiting to cast their votes for the party that has stood by the populace even at this critical period.”
Meanwhile, 27 persons have been arrested by the police in connection with the attack on the two banks.
According to the spokesman of the state Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, led the police teams and some military men to tackle the situation.
He said normalcy had been restored.