By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure
The Olowa and Paramount Ruler of Igbara-Oke kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the closure of Wema Bank Plc in Igbara-Oke.
The monarch made his mind known while addressing the gathering of residents and representatives of banks in Ondo State, during the Opening Ceremony of Account Opening week in Igbara-Oke, Headquarters of Ifedore Local Government, organised by Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said, such action will amount to Financial Seclusion of the good people of Igbara-Oke and residents of her sixteen satellite villages, Ero, Ibuji, Isarun Ilara-Mokin and other neighbouring towns.
Oba Agbede recalled how Wema Bank has continued to threaten the closure of their branch in Igbara-Oke in recent times despite the fact that all known obstacles they laid down, such as lack of security and low financial deposits to justify the closure had been adequately taken care of by himself and the good people of the ancient town, both at home and in diaspora.
His words, “Wema bank gave us a rude shock by embarking on the closure of their branch in our community on Thursday 28, November 2019, thereby paralyzing business activities and subjecting our aged people to undue rigor of travelling to Akure, the Ondo state capital before they could enjoy the goodwill from their children and loved ones through banking transaction”.
He also disclosed steps taken so far to allay the fears of Wema bank on security which has led to the provision of additional security services from the Nigeria Military and Mobile Police from the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters to on 24 hours surveillance within and around the banking premises, which the town has agreed to bear the costs.
He therefore appealed to the Central bank, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakuntin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN and well meaning Financial Stakeholders to help mediate on this and if possible, help provide Igbara-Oke community with an alternative bank, since the community can not meet the second condition of lodging five billion as a prelude to the continuity of Wema Bank services in Igbara-Oke.
In his statement, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Gbenga Adelayi, who represented the Governor of Ondo State, urged the representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Yusuf Fatai to help wade into the matter for a lasting resolution.
Also, Mrs. Tolu Akinbogun, a representative from First Bank of Nigeria PLC, also assured the Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom, Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede and the good people of Igbara-Oke that the people will not be deprived of continuous enjoyment of banking services to enhance smooth promotion of business activities, as this initiative will help yield positive results to the yearning of the people.