…keystone customers at the receiving end
Over one million Customers of Keystone Bank Igarra branch in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of State have been stranded, seven months after a foiled robbery attack on the financial institution.
10 persons were alleged to have died in the attack which occurred on Thursday August 8, 2018.
The hoodlums had earlier stormed Igarra police station near the banks after unleashing terror at a nearby police station where a car belonging to the area Commander was set ablaze.
But, the Nigeria Police in a swift response, put the casualty figure at six – four Civilians and two members of the robbery gang.
Seven months after the bizarre incident, staff of Ketone bank at Igarra branch, have been sacked or redeployed by Management of the Bank.
A visit to the area revealed that the property housing the bank is in a deplorable state due to abandonment.
Micro Finance Banks and Thrift collectors have catched-in on the financial sleaze to test support for business deal.
Petty traders in the area who use to walk several kilometres to meet their Banking needs have embraced the new order.
The Spokesman of Edo State Police Command, DSP Chidi Nwanbuzor, said in a telephone interview that “it is not the duty of Police to tell them (Keystone Bank) management when to resume operation.
He said, “what I will tell you is that the Police is alive to its responsibility to protect lives , Staff of the Bank and the public”.
Despite the assurances offered by the Police, there are a lot of Nigerians who believe that a baseline should be created to measure progress which requires policy. So, deeds are more important that words.
A legal practitioner based at Igarra, said in an interview that the attack had exposed a fundamental divide in the semi-urban area.
He expressed worries about the plights of banking public who have been denied access to their Bank’s accounts.
According to him, “POS and Micro Finance Banks are the channels we now rely on for our daily transactions.
“Unity Bank branch at Ugarra resumed operation in March 2019.
“But, the Keystone Bank where some persons were killed during the raid on the Bank, is yet to resume operations.
“We thank God, unlike before when we use to go to Auchi before to meet our Banking needs.
“There is military presence stationed permanently in front of the Banks which are adjacent to each other”, he said.
But, the story is different at Unity Bank branch adjacent to Keystone Bank, resumed operation in March 2019.
Business activities in the area have bounced back, following the relocation of military roadblock near the premises of the bank.