Akwa Ibom State Police Command has said that 15 suspects have been arrested for attacking three banks and setting them ablaze for failing to make cash available for customers.
The incident occurred on Friday in Oron local government area of the state as the hoodlums barricaded the banks destroying and burning bank facilities.
Our Correspondent gathered that the affected banks include First Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank and a Cool Room belonging to a prominent member of the National Assembly from the area was also torched.
An eyewitness said trouble started when a bullion van suspected to be carrying cash drove into one of the bank’s premises and within a short time, two vehicles belonging to a prominent politician in the area drove in at the same time to move the cash.
“I was told that the problem started when a bullion van drove into the premises of one of the banks and within a short time two vehicles belonging to prominent politicians from the area also arrived at the premises of that same bank.
“So the bank customers who have been waiting for so long to withdraw cash said when they were now told that there was no money in the bank they became angry. That was the cause of the rioting in Oron last Friday morning.
“Apart from the bank where the incident started the angry protesters also went and destroyed a Cold room belonging to a prominent politician, carted away the fish and others edible inside.
“However I blame the bank managers for what happened. They are the cause of the anger. Why will they receive the redesigned Naira notes, sell the Notes to politicians and then tell the people that there is no money? Then how do you expect the people to keep quiet? It is sad”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom SP Odiko Mcdon who confirmed the incident, disclosed that about 15 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“We received information that some banks were attacked in Oron local government and the police immediately swung into action. As we speak about 15 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“The commissioner of Police, Mr Olatoye Durosinmi expressed sadness about the situation and has directed the DPOs in the affected local government to ensure that there is no further breakdown of law and order.
“The CP also called on the citizens to ensure that as long as they have a right to ventilate their feelings about the hardship in the country, they should do so within the ambit of the law, and not go about destroying public property.
“The Police will do everything to ensure that Akwa Ibom remains one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria”, MacDon said.
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