A number of people have been reported dead following an attack on a branch of the First Bank in Ido-Ani, Ose Local Government, Ondo State.
The robbers (which were about six in number) were said to have arrived in an SUV and another sports car. They were able to gain entrance into the bank using explosive devices which affected those at the ATM points. It was alleged that the robbery lasted for over 60 minutes and the robbers shot sporadically while at it. Some were injured while some, including two of the bank staff, a police official, a vice principal lost their lives.
When the PRO of the Ondo State Police command, Mr Femi Joseph was contacted, he initially said, “I can confirm it but I can’t give details now but the commissioner of police is already on his way to the scene” but a while later, he stated that an arrest had been made and that the robbers did not cart away with a huge sum but that which was in the ATM.
It took to the combined effort of the Nigerian army and state police force to restore order. One of the robbers was captured by the Nigerian army after a shoot-out while some of the other robbers were said to have left with gun injuries.
Why do these robbers target banks in small towns? Is it because they are loosely secured and easy targets? What is the point of keeping your money in the bank?
I know of an elderly woman in Odo-Ere, somewhere in Kogi state who whenever she needs cash, would send her young son to Ilorin town to use the atm. This is because the only bank in their village has been robbed so many times that they have decided to shut down.
This incident also brings to mind the Offa robbery and the lost lives. Robberies have also occurred in many other states, claiming many promising lives. I remember that of Lagos where a stray bullet hit a woman and her 14-month-old baby right in her house. There was also one in which a 15-year-old girl was killed and another involving a nine-year-old boy.
A sad fact is that most of these armed robbers are young people who want quick money by all/any means. Human lives no longer matter and that is appalling. I wish the effort they put into planning and coordinating and being resourceful as regards the successful and unsuccessful robberies is put into something more meaningful.
The security agents or agencies including the police force in these towns and the country at large really need to wake up.
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