Lawless Street Trading: the Koroma Constituency
It seems the President Koroma ruling outfit has taken counsel to preserve their most popular constituency in Freetown, the lawless street trading that is basically an ever growing menace to life. Despite the many ersatz moves to have other areas in the city cleared in the name ofÂ bringing serenity in the country’s capital; the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) see nothing wrong with the ever mounting phenomenon of street trading that has become a haven for all sort of criminals and wreaking undue havoc on the lives of peaceful citizens.
Sani Abacha Street, Fourah Bay Road (Fire Burn), Eastern Police, and the upper end of Regent Street do not seem to be affected by the All People Congress Mayor Councillor Herbert George William’s “operation clean street” for apparent reason of preserving those illegal activities as a way of buying patronage from the street sellers and criminals proliferating those in electoral terms.
What we must hasten to be made known to President Koroma and his so-called Mayor is that posterity will judge the two of them equally for whatever result out of their inept act condoning lawlessness in the name of preserving an electoral constituency. The truth they are failing to realise is they will never be judged on the manner in which they were able to keep and maintain their constituencies but on how much they are able to bring freedom from the present chaos that is gripping the central business districts of Freetown.
Other than preserving lawlessness in exchange of voter patronage, government cannot give any sure reason as to why it turns a blind eye to the happenings in those parts of Freetown. According to police records, the highest number of crimes in Freetown and its environs come from where seeming street trading takes place in the central districts mentioned earlier.
Even to the Sierra Leone Police, curbing the ever increasing menace in the heart of Freetown is becoming a somewhat insurmountable challenge as the rate of criminal activities keep escalating to unbelievable levels. Every day; the two nearest police stations-Central and Eastern Police Station record over two hundred of all sorts of crimes ranging from pick pocketing, money doubling, mobile phone theft, sales duping, assault and much more.
Reliable sources in the police force intimate that people from high places frustrate the effort of officers who arrest criminals and orders come from above to let them go and flourish once more in their trade.Â Â
On the part of the city council, taking daily dues from street traders forms part of their revenue base and therefore they treasure them dearly. Grumblings around though, even among the said traders, is that it is not seeing what city council does with the money collected from them on a daily basis. This is a very ugly happening that seems to have no checks and balances that will result in the return of lawlessness which may be unleashed once more on society.
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