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Banks shut down in Aba over robbery attacks

*Robbers allegedly called bank to prepare for assault

By Eric Ugbor

ABIA — THERE are palpable fears that commercial activities in Aba, Abia State, are gradually  being crippled  as commercial banks in the city remained closed, yesterday, after last Wednesday’s violent  robbery attacks at First Bank and Fidelity Bank Plc on Port Harcourt road and Alaoji (flyover) areas of the city.

As early as 8a.m. yesterday, there was unconfirmed rumours that armed robbers had called one of the new generation banks along Eziukwu road, in the heart of the city, requesting them (the bank) to prepare for an attack.

The rumour spread like wild fire in the harmattan allover Aba, forcing other banks to close down, while other business ventures, including the transport sector, were also affected.

The situation in the city has affected virtually every other commercial venture.

Armed bandits, Wednesday, outsmarted all measures  adopted by the banks in the city and carted away millions of Naira.

When Vanguard visited some of the banks’ offices located on Ikot Ekpene, Asa, Factory and Eziukwu roads, they were all under lock and key.

At first Bank Plc on Ogbor Hill, the main entrance  to the bank was firmly locked as some of their customers who came to  transact  businesses were seen outside  the gate in small circles discussing  their fate.

‘I was there’

Vanguard spoke to a woman who claimed to have come from Rivers State to Aba to cash a cheque at one of the banks along Asa Road but was disappointed  and stranded as a result of the insecurity  in the city.

She claimed that she witnessed last Wednesday’s robbery incident along Port Harcourt road on her way from Port Harcourt and was yet to recover from the shock of firearms she heard during the robbery.

Vanguard gathered that some bank officials have already met with police chiefs at Aba where, according to a reliable police source, they were assured of adequate security.

However, the banks, as at the time of filing this report, were yet to re-open, as their managements were said to be insisting on a more concrete  assurance  from government.


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