By WILFRED JIBRIL
Commercial banking in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State is now extinct following the ceaseless onslaughts of daredevil armed robbers on the two commercial banks operating at Igarra, the council’s headquarters.
The banks are Keystone Bank and Unity Bank located almost opposite each other on Momodu Ajayi Road.
A visit by EDO VOICE to the area revealed that the affected banks had been closed to customers consequent upon last year’s deadly attack resulting in the death of 12 persons.
It was observed that a car was parked at the premises of Unity Bank with a security man at the gate while at the premises of Keystone Bank, a group of men was seen discussing unlike last week when nobody was there when EDO VOICE visited the area.
With this development, commercial banking in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area has been effectively killed as the chances of the affected banks resuming business look dim.
The chances are dim because insecurity in the local government area has heightened as the state government has abandoned the people to their fate.
The only saving grace of the people are the innumerable POS points and a few micro-finance banks in the area. The charges of some of these POS operators are outrageous but the people have a Hobson’s choice.
Ironically, despite the proximity of the affected banks to Igarra Police Station and the office of the Area Commander, bandits had always had a field day assaulting the banks and carting away huge sums of money. In some cases like the last incident, lives were wasted in the process.
This reporter would have photographed the premises of the two banks to illustrate this story but for security reasons.
The questions on the lips of hapless Akoko-Edo indigenes are: “What is the role of Edo State Governor. Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the chief security officer of the state if he can not secure the people?” What is he doing with the security vote meant to deal with the security challenges in the state? Why has he abandoned the people as his immediate predecessor and godfather, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole did?
EDO VOICE also observes that there is poor policing of the local government area, giving rise to the current heightening insecurity in the area.
Police presence is only noticed at Igarra, Ibillo and on Auchi-Ibillo expressway, a federal road now in a deplorable state. It is once in a while men of Ibillo Police Station are seen on the expressway.
EDO VOICE observes that politics in the local government area is not about development, but about self-enrichment if the utter neglect of the local government area by the state government is anything to go by.
Sadly, the people are still sucking up to their oppressors, doing their bidding for miserable financial handouts.
The outcome of Saturday’s House of Assembly election in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area is predictable as the people will, once again, vote for the same party which has kept the area in Horeb (Deuteronomy 1:6) for almost 12 years now.