Commercial banks in Akoko area of Ondo State were shut down on Friday following the information that some members of Boko Haram were planning to carry out attacks on banks in some towns in the state.
It was reported that a security letter from a security agency, was sent to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie, that the terror group was planning to attack banks in Akure, the state capital, Owo and Akoko areas of the state at any moment.
According to the letter, circulating on various social media platforms, which was addressed to the commissioner, the planned attack was to take place on Friday, November 1, 2019.
As a result of the development, the banks in the four Local Government Areas of the Akoko North-West, Akoko North-East, Akoko South-West and Akoko South-East didn’t open for operation.
This development affected many customers particularly those who had weekend engagements and traders, who wanted to transact business in the banks were disappointed when they got to the banks and met the entrance locked.
A bank official, who spoke on the 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 have 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 Jamiu Arowosegbe said he had a weekend engagement and needed money. He said it was surprising that the banks refused to open for customers.
He confirmed that the banks’ closure had had a negative impact on the socio-economic activities of the people of Akokoland.
It was however gathered that police patrol vehicle and other security agents were deployed in strategic places in Ikare Akoko, the headquarters of the Akoko North-East Local Government, to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
In a reaction to the development, 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 normal businesses as our men have been put on red alert to prevent any act of criminality anywhere in the state.
“We have emplaced 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, should they suspect or observe anything strange or unusual in the vicinity.