BANKS in Ikare towns in Ondo State have refused to open their doors to customers in the last five months after robbery attacks which claimed no fewer than 23 lives.
Also in Owo town, banks have closed shop since April when another group of armed robbers attacked four banks, killing over 15 persons, including seven policemen.
Bandits, numbering over 30, invaded Ikare town in December last year and robbed five banks in quick succession.
Scores of persons, including policemen, school pupils and innocent people, who were not in the vicinity of the banks, were killed.
Among those killed was 71-year-old Pa Gabriel Ogundipe, who just relocated from abroad to his home town after 25 years abroad.
The police stations in the two towns were the first port of call for the robbers, who destroyed them before heading for the banks.
Similarities in the mode of operation of the robbers in the two towns swelled insinuations that it was the same set of robbers that carried out both robberies.
In the two operations, only seven of the robbers were gunned down during the Owo robberies and one captured alive.
N9.3 million was recovered in the Owo robbery, while none was recovered in the Ikare robbery.
Vanguard gathered that people in the affected towns travel to Akure, the state capital, for banking activities.
A statement by the state Police image maker, DSP Wole Ogodo in Akure, said: “The banks recently attacked at Ikare and Owo towns have not been able to open to customers because of their inability to renovate.
“Ondo State Police Command, under the able and competent leadership of CP Isaac Eke, has since put in place all necessary security arrangement to ensure residents and banks across the state go about their lawful businesses without fear of threat from any quarter.”