Robbers give Auchi banks the fright

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Banks in Auchi area in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo state, west of Nigeria, have vowed to remain closed until the incessant bank robberies in the area are curtailed.

The Chairman of the Auchi Branch of the Bankers Forum, Mr Bash Sanusi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Auchi after a meeting of the forum.

He said that the meeting was held following Monday night’s attack on two banks in the area by armed robbers.

“Having appraised the security situation in the area, we have decided not to open our doors to customers for now until there is an improvement on security in the area.

“We particularly fear that the robbers, who raided two banks in the area on Monday night, might come back more prepared since they did not succeed in the mission.

“We are also worried that with the way they destroyed one of the banks they attacked, their coming back will not be easy for us all. ”

Sanusi lauded the efforts made by the police during the Monday night’s raid, but said that banks in the area were not getting commensurate support from the police in terms of security.

“Apart from other sundry payments by banks in the area to the police, we are also responsible for fuelling the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC). We also recently bought two new tyres for the APC.

“We are not saying they are not trying at all, but we know that more can be done to ensure security in the area.

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NAN recalled that robbers raided two banks in Auchi on Monday nigh, but no death or injury was recorded in the raid that lasted for about one and half hours.

When contacted, the Auchi Area Commander of the Nigeria Police, Mr. Gabriel Haruna, condemned the decision of the bankers’ forum to shut their doors against customers.

Haruna said that the decision would undermine efforts being made by the police to combat crimes, especially bank robberies in the area.

“It is not funny that after all what we have been doing, the banks seem not appreciating.

“If they are saying they will not open for business, it then means we are not doing anything to fight bank robbery,” he said.

Haruna said that robbers would not just rob banks without getting information, especially from an insider,

“ If not, how would you explain that one of the banks attacked got large cash on Thursday which was kept in the vault.

“In any case, my men fought gallantly that night during the attack to prevent the robbers from getting the cash. We have been doing our best and will continue to do that.

“There is no justification for them to close shops because my men are on top of the situation. All we need from the bankers is total cooperation and together we shall rid the place of all elements of criminality,” Haruna said