A soldier, believed to be serving in one of the military units in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia state has slapped a woman over who should be the first to use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the premises of the Ogbor Hill branch of First bank Plc.
The soldier whose identity was concealed as a result of the military jacket he was putting on, waited patiently for his turn to use the ATM while the woman who was said to have been there before the latter, stood beside the queue.
According to an eyewitness account, when it was time to use the ATM, the woman who was still beside the queue made move to use the machine and in the process, dragged right of way with the soldier.
This was said to have annoyed the soldier who started saying, ?You dey drag my uniform, u dey drag my uniform. Okay wait, u go see now?. He slapped the woman and brought out a dagger chasing her around the premises. The woman ran outside the gate, shouting for help.
The enraged soldier came back and started chasing people at the two other ATM points while still holding his dagger. The people, including the two bank security men on duty ran for their life in different directions; some outside the gate and others to the bank?s main yard.
A customer of the bank, who did not want his name on print said he took to his heels because anything could have happened under that type of situation.
?The woman actually came before the soldier but was standing beside the queue. We were pleading with the soldier to forgive the woman, but he slapped her immediately and brought out a knife. It was at this point that everybody became afraid. When he chased the woman outside the gate, he rushed to the other ATM and we all ran away. I thank God that people later summoned courage to plead with the soldier.?
A worker at the motor park opposite the bank said the latter must device means to reduce the crowd of people who usually throng the premises to use the ATM and recalled several conflicts over use of the machine among customers of the bank.
?We hid the woman when the soldier pursued her out of the bank and watched him chase away other customers. Such incident which happened around 6pm could have resulted to the soldier stabbing the woman or any other person to death out of anger. First bank must do something to make their ATMs work faster so that there wouldn?t be too many customers at any time.?
247ureports.com gathered that there are Four ATMs at the Ogbor Hill branch of the bank while only one are working most of the time, others would be out of use most of the time leading to long queues particularly during morning and evening periods