…banks groan over bullion vans scarcity
…as party branded vehicles, political noises disappear completely
Scarcity of bullion vans has reportedly hit the banks in Anambra state as increasing number of governorship candidates in the coming Nov 6, 2021 poll and other well-to-do citizens have seemingly abandoned the comfort of their SUVs for the bellies of armored cash-carriers.
Others have also resorted to the use of commercial buses painted in the colors of commuter buses in the state, as those who own such buses have temporarily withdrawn same from the road for their personal/private use for their families for now.
They have also adopted a strict security discipline down the line in their families to only go out when extremely necessary and unavoidable. Just like within the Russian, Italian mobs or Mexican/American drug cartels environments.
The wives, girlfriends, children and other key family members have now received restructured security compliments as they attend schools, church services or even social events like weddings and burials where attendance appear inevitable.
Already, banks in the state currently groaning over the scarcity of bullion vans have invaded neighboring states of Enugu, Delta and Ebonyi states in search of armored security vans.
Rising from a top level meeting yesterday, a manager of one of the banks with office on the New Market Road in Onitsha who chaired his bank’s Management Meeting on the development disclosed under anonymity that they have just made a contingency arrangement with their branches in the neighboring states for assistance anytime the need arises within the week.
The manager who is heading a first generation bank locates on New Market Road axis in Onitsha expressed disappointment that the rising insecurity has reached an alarming stage.
He revealed that Managers/top staffers of banks had in a recent bankers committee meeting muted the idea of reduction of number of official working days or hours if the tense insecurity currently pervading Anambra state did not abate soon.
According to him, “it is frightening that despite huge resources we have mobilized to buy vehicles and equip the security agencies through the state government, insecurity has literally driven us out of business in the state.”
It was also alleged that they were not positively disposed towards making more sacrifices as being propositioned by the state government, ‘because we had expected that our intervention efforts would compliment that of the state government, instead we have become beast of burden for security apparatuses in the state’, the man added.
Besides the upgrading and equipping the security agencies in the state, the usual noise associated with campaign periods like now have completely disappeared from the state.
Most governorship candidates who had been missing in action had disappeared totally, no billboards, no posters, no jingles or any form of commercial placement in the media has become the situation. One therefore wonders what kind of electioneering campaign was going on.
An interview with one of the candidates who begged not to be named disclosed that no one actually want to be associated with any political events or party. You can observe that the attention of the unknown gunmen has recently shifted to politicians.
That’s why all branded buses, t-shirts, wrappers and faze caps have disappeared from circulation. No hyped political meetings. Only private meetings and interaction in private abodes was currently going on. Little of none is even heard over the radio or television.
Apart from the Labour Party that started early, Accord Party’s Dr Godwin Maduka appeared more focussed. Both parties have well cited and very strategically located billboards in parts of the state. Other parties are still missing in action.
Little wonder many see the Nov 6 poll as being between Dr Maduka and others. The populace were reported to have continued a pilgrimage of sorts to his Umuchukwu/Nkerehi community where he has for the past 20years demonstrated what nation building should be. He singlehandedly built schools, churches, High Court/Judges quarters, hospitals and a multi-story international medical research Centre. He was said to have promised to take university education to all the 21 Councils of the state with a campus each to make it closer and easily accessible to all.
Dr Chidozie Nwankwo who started off better than others has since picking the ticket of a relatively unknown political party become unnoticed. At least he was the only candidate that invested massively in publicity through billboards round virtually every corner of the state.
While the All Progressives Congress candidate’s Andy Uba has the poorest billboards. The poor job appeared like an 16th century photo. It was sited in about just three locations in the entire state, with the one at Afor Nnobi being the most strategic as that is his running mate -Emeka Okafor’s home town.
Whether things would improve with just three weeks to the Nov 6 poll is yet to be seen.
So far, even the staccato muffled noise of jingles seem to have all been silenced. It’s just few journalists that are still braving reporting politics in the state. Perhaps due to the pervading uncertainty surrounding the November 6 date.
However, with the assurances and reassuring words of the Independent National Electoral Commission, there’s hope. Though security of lives and property is not a matter for hope, it must be seen to be real!
As an addition to the tense security, the nation’s Chief law interpreter and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami rattle the political jar and sensitivity of the zone with his ill advised comment about possible declaration of state of emergency in Anambra over insecurity.
The PDP didn’t waste time to hit him with a reply, while Gov Obiano who has been on the receiving end of the whole heat immediately jetted out to Aso Rock where he extracted an unambiguous assurance from the President that Malami was just testing the waters on personal grounds.
The governor was reported to have promised to give a call to Malami to express his mind. But many were of the view that the call be jettisoned as being completely unnecessary.