The President of the Sierra Leone Motor Bike Riders Union, David Sesay has accused the personal of both the Sierra Leone Police and Military of operating private bikes for commercial purposes and at the end of the day they are not checked or prosecuted.
He made the statement in Parliamentary during an Internal Affairs Committee engagement on Wednesday 13th April 2016 at the Conference Hall of the newly constructed Parliamentary Building where senior officials in the Sierra Leone Police Traffic Division, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, SLRSA, Commercial Bike Riders Union and others went to deliver and deliberate on a presentation on the themes, “Lawlessness of Bike Riders in the City”.
He said there is a strained relationship between the SLRSA and the Police which makes their operations very difficult in the city.
David Sesay went further to state that it is not easy to lead an organization or union that is always being described with all the worst adjectives, noting that sometimes he feels like resigning his position.
He explained that despite the road constructions in the country, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his administration have not being countenancing their significant efforts. He described their them as “vital player in the transport sector” stressing that he even had to remind President Koroma at one point in time that their efforts in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus has not been recognized.
He explained that the situation is not unique because they are providing national services and if they are needed by either APC or SLPP they will render their service.
He said in castigating Bike Riders, authorities should not forget their role in the fight against Ebola.
In her contribution, the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai of SLPP, said that Commercial Bike Riding is a “necessary evil,” as it helps people, goods and serve to move to hard to reach places but on the other hand they are causing a lot of accidents; injuries and loss of lives.
Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo also raised serious concerns that the commercial Bike Riders Union could help in the tourism sector but need to be regulated.
However, the Chairman of the Committee said that the police, SLRSA, Bike Riders, Transport Ministry and other key players must come up with a workable plan that would be implementation for the sanitization and regulation of the sector.
Acting Traffic Coordinator, Johnson said the number of bike accidents in the city is spiraling and has claimed the lives of people, noting that some of the riders are not abiding to traffic rules and regulations and are also not using the necessary gadget to protect themselves and passengers.
He submitted that if Commercial Bike Riders do not comply with the rules, they would be banned from the city and the country as a whole.
Also, a representative from the Passenger Welfare Association was verbally abused by some Executive representatives of the Commercial Bike Riders Union for comments he made in which he said eighty percent of the Okada Riders are illiterate.