Political Affairs Meets With Protesters
The Minister of Political and Public Affairs and her Deputy yesterday quelled down a demonstration organized by members of the Sierra Leone Commercial Motorbike Riders in Freetown.
According to the Union’s Public Relations Officer, Samuel Sesay, they took to the streets to register their dissatisfaction with the high degree of harassment by traffic police officers.
The PRO alleged that the traffic police officers are in the habit of arresting bike riders for no just cause, adding that many regular police officers have abandoned their duties and taken to the streets as bike riders.
Samuel Sesay also alleged that most of the police officers riding commercial motorbikes often violate the traffic rules and regulations with impunity without being arrested.
The bike riders’ official spokesman said it is quite disheartening that traffic police officers are preventing them from plying the streets despite they have their licenses as prescribed by law.
He stressed that the prescribed route for them to ply is not road worthy and sometimes results to minor accidents.
Samuel Sesay alleged that traffic police officers always charge them Le 200,000.00 to release any motorbike arrested without receipts.
“We want to ask President Koroma if bike riders are not citizens of the country?” Samuel Sesay queries, adding, “Riding commercial bikes is the only alternative to our joblessness because we have to feed our families. Does the President want us to steal or go back to the bush?”
While the commercial bike riders were about to intensify their protest, the Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Madam Nanett Thomas, pleaded with them to return to their normal business as the issues raised by them would be looked into, including those who were arrested during the demonstration.
The Minister warned that such demonstration would discourage investors.
She invited a five-man delegation from the Union to her office to discuss the way forward.
The Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Mr. Akmed Femi Mansaray, also pleaded with the commercial bike riders not to take the law into their own hands, adding that they care about their concerns and will find lasting solutions to the issues being raised.
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