Commercial banks in Ikere-Ekiti, the headquarters of Ikere Council Area of Ekiti State were shut down on Tuesday following the alleged withdrawal of service by policemen.
The Nation visited the second largest community in the state and observed financial institutions as well as Point of Terminal(POS) outlets were under lock and key due to fear of being attacked over alleged absence of policemen.
Findings by The Nation indicated that there had been no police officer in the town following the burning of two police stations and destruction of the Area Command by hoodlums during the #ENDSARS protests.
The Area Command and Divisional police stations in the town were razed with vehicles as well as other vital items in the premises.
Reacting to alleged withdrawal of policemen, banks in the town did not open for operation on Tuesday, forcing many customers who wanted to transact business to go to Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Customers expressed disappointment over the development, saying it had affected their businesses negatively.
One of the bank officials, who spoke with The Nation on condition of anonymity, said the development was as a result of the alleged absence of policemen in the community.
She said: “Initially, we wanted to start operation for the day but suddenly, we were told to shut down and move to our other branches in Ado-Ekiti because of the absence of policemen in Ikere-Ekiti.
“The management took the decision to put the bank under lock and key because we did not want to take any risk. For now we won’t open for operation until the police return”.
The Command’s Spokesman, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the development, said all the three police stations where its officers and men used to operate، had been set ablaze while operational and personal vehicles in the premises were also vandalised.
According to him, residents had however been told to call certain police hotlines anytime they needed their services, especially during utmost emergencies.
Also reacting to the development, the first class traditional ruler of the town, Oba Adejimi Adu, said the withdrawal of services by the police has exposed the town to security threats, calling on the police to return to the town.
Adu, who expressed dismay at the level of the violence and its attendant destruction that marred the hitherto peaceful protests, pronounced ancestral curses on those behind the wanton destruction of public property.
He invoked curses while meeting with community leaders, youths and others at Ikere Town hall, decreeing sponsors of violence would be punished by Ikere ancestral spirits.
He, however, appealed to the indigenes of the community, especially the youths to eschew violence and embrace peace as no town could have any meaningful development in the midst of violence.