A disagreement between a commercial motorcyclist and his passenger over a dirty naira note on Saturday in Lagos, turned bloody as irate youth beat the cyclist to a state of coma.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who witnessed the incident, reports that the cyclist identified as Okon Akpan, had conveyed his passenger, also identified as Miss Titilope Fatai, from Okokomaiko to Iyanoba market for a fee of N200.
Trouble however started when Fatai gave the cyclist N500 but when Akpan gave his passenger her N300 balance, made up of N200 and N100 notes, the lady returned the N100 Note and requested for replacement on the grounds that it was “too dirty”.
A heated argument ensued as the cyclist insisted he did not have a neater note to replace the ‘smelling’ one as demanded by his passenger.
As Akpan tried to leave without reaching an accord, the lady allegedly slapped him and he in return, started beating her.
Unknown to the cyclist, the lady was popular among the street urchins around, who in turn, reacted by also giving Akpan a thorough beating to a state of unconsciousness, and thereafter dispersed.
His fellow commercial motorcyclists had to come to his rescue, after which they took him to an undisclosed hospital.
A Traffic Policeman at the scene, Mr Uzochukwu Amadi, described as ‘dreadful’ the behavior of the youth.
Reacting to the incident, a lecturer with the Lagos State University, Dr Kaka Afolabi, appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria to inject new Naira Notes into the system, adding that the current ones in circulation were ‘eye sores’.
“We expect the authorities concerned to act quickly before more Nigerians fall victims of dirty naira notes.
“Our present N100 is the worse; it is no longer durable and its acceptability has become subject of debates during transactions, thereby leading to quarrels in most cases,’’ he noted.