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On a regular basis gradually returned after the revel of violence that trailed the EndSARS protests in parts of the country, residents and governments of the five South East States are still counting the cost.
Business communities in the zone are still groaning over difficulties in accessing banking services in Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki and Nnewi as commercial bank branches attacked by the hoodlums are yet to reopen, while others offer only skeletal services.
Banks’ buildings and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) had attracted special attention of the scoundrels who in turn looted and vandalised them.
This was as traditional rulers of Aba na Ohazu and the indigenous people of Aba South Local Government Area of Abia State, who recently toured some of the sites destroyed by hoodlums in Aba with other stakeholders, including women and youth leaders lamented the wanton destruction in the area. The group put the property destroyed at the Aba Town Hall Complex which served as secretariat of Aba South Local Government Council at over N1billion.
Similarly, the Abia State Fire Service in Aba said that its equipment worth N400million was destroyed by the hoodlums.
Zonal Commander, Okezie Uche, explained that the agency lost its remaining fire trucks worth N350million while other fire-fighting equipment valued at about N50million were also vandalised. The Aba Fire Command lost one of its two fire engines in August 2020, following an attack by an angry mob in Ariaria area of Aba, for allegedly responding late to a distress call.
The fire truck destroyed by the hoodlums is estimated at N350 million and in all, we lost about N400 million to the attack.
I am now telling Aba residents that the only fire truck that they have has been destroyed by hoodlums and so, Aba has no fire equipment to fight fire, when it occurs, especially as we enter the dry season,” Uche lamented.
At least five banks, a High Court, a Magistrate’s Court, Abia State Dental Centre, Aba and Aba Town Hall and the church inside it were touched. Also touched, was a shopping mall under construction by a US-based investor.
President of Aba Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), Chief Lawrence Obete, said although their members lost their property during the protest, it would be unfair if he estimated their losses when the committee set up by the state government of which ACCIMA was well represented, had not submitted its report.
Obete narrated: “It is true that our members lost property that run into billions of naira during the #EndSARS protest, but we will not be giving out the exact amount until the committee set up to do the evaluation submits her report”.
THE EASTERN UPDATES