Residents of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday abandoned church and besieged the various bank galleries to make withdrawals as the ongoing labour strike enters the fourth day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were unusual long queues of customers in almost all the banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
Most of the ATMs in the town had been emptied by 10 a.m yesterday and security men attached to the banks politely turned back customers.
The situation was compounded by few others with little cash inside of their machines, giving messages, such as “temporarily unable to dispense cash”.
Of the 15 bank branches in Ado-Ekiti, only four were discharging cash when NAN visited.
One of the customers, Mr Kolawole Jinadu, said he was shocked to see such an unusual crowd, despite the fact that neither the state nor the local government areas had paid the September salary.
Another customer, Mrs Olanike Owoade, told NAN that attention was shifted to the ATMs because of the failure of some banks to attend to customers since the strike began last Thursday.
Owoade said she had to join the long queue, despite health challenges, because there were rumours that the banks might fully join the strike on Tuesday.
She said this may not be unconnected with the threats by the labour movement in the state to start picketing them as from Tuesday.
“I am here to withdraw the little balance I have in my two accounts before the money in the ATMs get exhausted. I had spent all I have on my two children, who resumed school for the new academic session on Monday.
“But I am now in a dilemma as the children have again been turned back home as a result of the strike, which came barely three days after the children resumed for the new academic session from the long holiday,” she said.
Some parents also regretted the early truncation of the new academic session, following the strike which came barely three days after schools in the state resumed from nine weeks’ holiday.
Other parents urged government at all levels to address the workers’ agitation quickly to save their children’s future from being negatively affected.