Three people died on Wednesday in Benin, Edo State after a protest at the entrance of the state branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria turned violent.
Residents who were still in possession of the old notes had stormed the CBN office early in the morning to collect the form to enable them to deposit their money as directed by the CBN.
While they were waiting to be attended to, a Hilux truck, with some officials, which was trying to make its way into the bank premises was prevented from gaining access to the bank by the residents.
However, the situation turned violent as some of them (the residents) attacked the vehicle and the vehicle went back while the police at the entrance of the bank calmed the situation. Two people were feared to have died in the ensuing melee.
This led to the angry protesters attacking virtually all the banks along the Akpkakpkava destroying their ATM points and buildings. Some of the banks affected are Sterling Bank, UBA, GTB, Access, Zenith, Stanbic IBTC and others.
The violence degenerated into a full-fledged protest as the enraged residents took over the Ring Road (city centre) throwing stones at anything in sight.
At Upper Sakponba, the protesters attacked the United Bank for Africa, destroying a part of the bank as staff scampered for safety.
One middle-aged man died in that area. The Third Junction was also blocked as motorists and a batch of police officers were prevented from entering Upper Sakponba and gaining access into the MM way.
To restore peace and order in the metropolis, soldiers and policemen were dispatched to the affected area and prisons to prevent jailbreaks.
Also, members of the Edo State Security network also dismantled the roadblocks set up by angry residents in a different part of the city. Vigilantes also joined the security personnel to patrol the streets.