Unpleasant report of bank robberies in Osun state

Banks in Osun state have come under attacks lately because armed robbers have been having their ways both day and night. LATEEF IBRAHIM reports that many banks have closed shop as a result of this.

The security situation in Osun state, particularly the havoc caused by bank robberies, has paralyzed business activities in some local governments as many banks have closed shops and subjected residents of the affected areas to long journey to the major towns in order to carry out bank transactions, following those subsequent attacks.

At the moment, Blueprint investigation reveals that some of the banks which have been attacked are finding it difficult to reopen due to the huge losses they encountered during the attack.

The difficulty the bank robberies have caused some business owners are numerous as some of the companies now find it difficult to save money after their daily business. To a greater extent, the robbers had denied some local governments the opportunity of making transactions in bank as they now resolved to patronising Point Of Sales (POS).

Major places attacked/banks

At the moment, Blueprint investigation also reveals that banks in eight out of 10 local governments in Osun Central Senatorial District have been permanently shut as a result of armed robbery attacks, leaving the state capital, Osogbo and a bank in Erin-Osun, Irepodun local government area of the state. The banks in Osogbo and the one in Erin-Osun are the only places that served about 50 towns in the whole Osun Central.

This incident has forced many residents of the other local governments to travel to the state capital where Osogbo and some parts of Olorunda local governments are located for bank transactions.
The local governments in Osun Central are Osogbo, Olorunda, Ila, Ifedayo, Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifelodun, Odo-Otin, Orolu, and Irepodun local governments.

Sometimes in January 2019, robbers invaded a bank in the hometwon of former governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande in Ila-Orangun, Ila local government where a policeman and a medical doctor were killed. This unfortunate incident led to the closure of the bank which served some towns, including Ifedayo local government. Students of Ila College of Education, Ekiti State University satellite campus. As a result of this, business owners have been finding it difficult to transact business in banks. They have been using POS to collect money and travel to the state capital for collection of ATM and other important bank transactions.

Earlier, there had been a robbery on First bank, Union Bank and Skye Bank on February 12, 2016 leading to the closure of banks in Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun local government. The robbery was brutal such that many lives, including policemen, were lost to the incident. All the three banks have been shut since then.
The situation became worse in the district this year when robbers invaded the Wema Bank branch in Okuku, the hometown of former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Odo-Otin local government on March 11. The bank that serves business owners and students of Osun State University was shut after the bank robbery, hence the need for students, lecturers and other staffs to travel to the state capital to carry out important bank transaction.

It was gathered that a bank in Inisa, Odo-Otin local government, also closed down recently as a result of threat by robbers who were said to have written them for notice of their planning to invade the bank.
In August 5, 2021, armed robbers invaded UBA and Access Banks in Iree, Boripe local government. A police constabulary, Dauda Jelili, was killed and the banks that served the students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, and other towns in the local government were forced to cloise shop. Students of the polytechnic and other people have been using POS since then. Whenever there is wrong transaction on POS and customers have to go to bank for complaint, they must take a risk of traveling to the state capital, Osogbo, for regularisation on the transactions on their account.

The commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Adebayo Adeleke, an indigene of the town, condemned the attack and urged the security operatives to swing into action to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to book.

Police confirms

This is just as the police commissioner, Olawale Olokode, who said he observed that the attack had the support of residents of the town, vowed that the police would soon lay hand on the culprits.
The commissioner of police said, “The operation is not without the knowledge of some indigenes who know the nooks and crannies of that bush area as well as the town itself.”

Another indigene of the town, Comrade Kehinde Ayantunji, who expressed sadness over the incident, said the most unfortunate is the lose of life of a policeman that has dedicated his life to the protection of people. He also urged the police to fish out the perpetrators, saying that the whole federal constituency would be denied access to banks if the banks are closed like others.

The last straw that broke the camels back came less than a month after Iree robbery and another attack was carried out on the remaining banks in Iragbiji, Boripe local government, the hometown of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola. The town was attacked by robbers on

September 28, 2021 almost the same way Iree attack was carried out. Two Inspectors of Police, Messrs. Ogunbiyi Ahmed and Odeyemi Ayinla, were killed after the police station was attacked apparently to incapacitate the security before they robbed the bank.

Though, a bank in Erin-Osun in Irepodun local government that serves the people of the area and all the towns in Orolu local government is still working, a staff of the bank said they also work with fear because they only open between 8am and 1pm.

Findings by Blueprint have showed that some of the POS businesses are operating with fear in some of the affected towns aa unconfirned reports showed that some POS operators are not even spared in the robbery.

A POS operator in Iragbiji, Tescom multipurpose, said any POS operator that loves himself must close before 7pm. He said, “Those guys have collected money from our colleagues several times. That is why we are also targeting them by closing before the atmosphere becomes dark.”
Exorbitant charges of POS have been lamented by students who described the robbery as wickedness and evil. A student in the state polytechnic, Ismail Akinola, said, “We are paying N100 on N5,000 transactions and anything above the amount is N200. We can not keep our school fees in our hostel; it would be stolen. If we keep it in the bank, we are going to withdraw with charges that we are supposed to use to buy food. This has been our plight for sometimes now,” he said.