The unprecedented spate of lawlessness that has engulfed our society in recent times has become unbearable and the appropriate authorities need to do a lot to pipe it down. Over the past few months, law enforcement agencies, including the Sierra Leone Police, the Freetown City Council and the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority have made incessant promises to curb the deep-seated lawlessness in especially the street traders and motor bike (okada) riders.
Much to the chagrin of sober minded citizens, nothing has been achieved in that vein and the menace persist with impunity. Just yesterday the Inspector General of Police was on the airwaves with his usual bizarre boasts pretending that he is going to invoke all the powers he can to rid the main streets of the capital city of badly behaved peddlers and rag tagged okada boys. This is mere platitude because we know he dares not in the name of cheap politics.
The stipulated laws that forbid this unfolding plague in our society is glaringly codify in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, and mindfully, the Road Traffic Act of 2007 part XI places restrictions on road use for safety while section 134 speaks of prohibition of street trading in stipulated streets in Freetown.
IG Munu and the other weaver birds in the aforementioned state institutions are well au-fait with these statutory instruments but would rather prefer to ignore them on dusty shelves and complacently think that they are in control. What are the uses of the laws if they are not effective? Where are the Freetown City Council Bye-Laws that prohibit littering of the streets and others?
Road traffic and congestion is certainly a deterrent to economic growth and therefore must be stopped now with sincerity of purpose.
Stopping Okada movements in the central business district has been proposed since Abraham was a boy as much as its commercial registrations are curtailed. Let them don’t ply the normal taxi routes and traffic congestion will be minimized if not averted. Let the street traders that are bragging to have voted President Koroma to State House spare him the headache and utilize the various market places that are at their behest and clean up the eyesores so that people of Freetown including their very selves will breathe fresh air once more and be healthy.
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