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Port Harcourt Residents Besiege ATM for Cash

In a last minute rush to stuff their pockets with cash and take care of vital individual and household needs ahead of Saturday’s presidential elections, scores of Port Harcourt residents streamed to ATM points across most banks in the Rivers State capital on Friday.

The queues, which at some Friday. banks extended outside the premises, swelled as time passed by.As a result of the cash rush, cash in many of the ATM machines in some banks our correspondent visited in places like Harbour Road, Aba Road and Artillery areas of the city, had been exhausted, leaving several men and women deeply frustrated.

Even customers, who attempted to transfer money to their loved ones, were left disappointed as their accounts were debited while the transaction failed.

Some were lucky to have their money credited back before leaving such ATM points while others were assured by security officers in some of those places that their funds would be credited back in not more than 24 hours.

A customer at one ATM point in the city, Faustina Erekosinma, told our correspondent that she had come to pick enough cash that could last her and her three children for one month because of the tension surrounding Saturday’s polls in the state.

“Anything can happen my brother and that is why I have been on the queue for over 40 minutes so that I can withdraw enough money that can take care of me and my children for at least one month.

I don’t mind staying the whole day on the line as long as I get money,” she said.Banking halls were also not left out as customers trooped in to make one transaction or the other.

However, in some areas, it was business as usual with no traces of panic cash withdrawals.

At the Creek Road market, an expansive food and variety shop, wheelbarrow operators were seen loading various food items into private cars while many men and women on foot were seen clutching on to various sizes of polythene bags stuffed with foods or other consumable goods.

Many told our correspondent that they could not afford not to have food in the house because they did not know what could follow the election or when the markets would open again, in case of any trouble.

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