Banks shut in Ondo over Boko Haram threat

NEWS DIGEST–Commercial banks in the Akoko area of Ondo State were under lock and key on Friday following a viral letter stating that members of the Boko Haram sect planned to attack banks in some towns in the state.

It was reported that a letter from a security agency was sent to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie, that bandits were planning to attack banks in Akure, the state capital; Owo and the Akoko areas of the state.

According to the letter circulating on social media platforms, which was addressed to the commissioner, the planned attack was to take place on Friday, November 1.

Reacting to the threat, banks in the areas did not open for operation on Friday.

It was gathered that many customers, who wanted to transact business in the banks, were disappointed when they got to the banks and met the gates locked.

A bank official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the development was as a result of the security threat in the area.

“We got the directive not to open because of the security challenge we are facing in this area. We don’t want to experience what we experienced before; that is why the bank did not open for operation. But very soon we shall be back for business.”

A bank customer, who identified himself as Alhaji Jamiu Arowosegbe, lamented that he had a weekend engagement and needed money.

It was gathered that police patrol vehicles and other security agents were deployed in strategic places in Ikare Akoko, the headquarters of the Akoko North- East Local Government.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Femi Joseph, said adequate security had been put in place to protect the lives and property of the people throughout the “ember” months and beyond.

He said, “The banking community and other financial institutions are enjoined to go about their business as our men have been put on a red alert to prevent any act of criminality anywhere in the state.

“We have 24-hour surveillance on all financial institutions and other public utilities across the state. Citizens should not exercise any form of anxiety or apprehension as the police are on top of the security situation in the state.”

The PPRO also advised the residents to be conscious of events around them and quickly alert the police to the movement of suspicious characters or strange objects in the vicinity.