By Victor Akinkuolie
Business activities were yesterday paralyzed in Ondo city, the administrative headquarters of Ondo West Local Government area of the state, following a rumour of possible invasion of the town by suspected armed robbers.
As a result of this, many of the commercial banks and several commercial outfits operating on Olusegun Mimiko street, the commercial hub centre of the city hurriedly closed down for business in order not to be caught unaware from the intending invasion by men of the underworld.
In the same vein, motor transport operators and their motorcycle counterparts temporarily suspended operations in the area while they charged higher fare for any trip to other parts of the town.
When our correspondent went round the town, most of the commercial banks were not operating, while large crowd of people were seen milling around the Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Although the town was calm, security was however beefed up as regular and mobile policemen from various divisions were seen patrolling the city. The Divisional Police Officers ( DPO) in all the three divisions in the town were also seen mobilizing their men and placing them in strategic locations in readiness for any onslaught from the robbers.
In the same vein, a police Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was also seen patrolling the town to forestall any possible attack.
However, as at about 1205 p.m, while filing this report, tension had cooled down, as some business outfits that were shut in the morning had resumed for business, as some banks officials who had earlier in the day closed for business were seen around the premises of their banks, though they were not attending to customers.
Reacting to the development, some of the inhabitants of the city expressed serious concern about the security situation which they said should be urgently addressed in order for it not to have negative effect on business activities in the town.
Mr Kunle Olajide, who claimed to be a teacher, described the development as very sad stating that the inability of the banks to open for business as a result of the de elopement, affected him as he could not withdraw money to meet his urgent needs.
When contacted on phone, Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) Ondo state command, Mr. Femi Joseph, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said he was currently in Abuja for an official assignment, but explained that the police are always at alert to curtail any security breach in the town.
He therefore urged members of the public to disregard the rumour and go about their lawful duties without any fear.