Ondo banks shut over deployment of policemen in Ado Ekiti

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Peter Dada, Akure

All the banks in the four local government areas in the Akoko area of Ondo State did not open for operations on Tuesday following an alleged withdrawal and redeployment of policemen who were guarding the banks in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State for a political rally.

It was gathered that the policemen were allegedly deployed in Ado Ekiti on special duty to provide security for the visiting President Muhammadu Buhari and other national leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State for the political rally in support of the candidate of the party in the Saturday governorship election, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

Many customers who wanted to do transactions with the affected banks were turned back.

A source stated that the Automated Teller Machines in Ikare Akoko, Akungba Akoko, Oka Akoko, Arigidi Akoko and some other towns in Akokoland were massively besieged by many customers who were unable to withdraw money in the banking halls.

A worker of one of the affected banks, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, explained that the fear of possible attacks by armed robbers informed the decision of the banks not to open for operations.

He said, “The banks did not open because there were no policemen to provide security for them. All of them (policemen) have been sent to Ekiti State to provide security for Mr President. If you come to Akoko today (Tuesday), you will find very few policemen in the towns; all of them are now in Ekiti for a political rally.

“It has happened before in 2014, when policemen were deployed for a political rally. It was on that day that a gang of armed robbers struck at the banks, killing many people and stealing money. So we don’t want such to happen again at our banks.

“I believe, tomorrow (today), if the policemen are back to their duty posts, we will open for customers to transact but today, it is very risky to open banks in these areas. We don’t want armed robbers to take the advantage of police absence.”

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