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Bike Riders Protest

By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara

Commercial motor bike riders from across the city, Freetown have yesterday, Thursday 22nd April, 2021 stormed the offices of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, AYV Media Empire and the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) in protest.
The protest, according to some of the riders this medium spoke to was over what they described as the continuous harassment, extortion and arrests they continue to suffer in the hands of the Sierra Leone Police and the Road Safety Corps.
In the last 72 hours, over 400 commercial motorbikes were arrested in the Central Business District and other areas within the capital, Freetown by either the Sierra Leone Police or the Road Safety Corps.
A spokesman for the police said the arrests were made in line with the ‘’Operation Clean Freetown’’ launched by the Sierra Leone Police together with other stakeholders in the transport sector to rid the city off traffic.
The president of the bike riders in the Freetown East district, Mohamed S. Turay popularly known as Adebayor on his part expressed dismay over what he said was the perpetual harassment his constituent continues to face in the hands of the police and the road safety corps.
He noted that although the executive had engagements in with stakeholders in the transport sector in 2014 that restrict bike riders from plying the central business district, but the harassments and exploitation have become unbearable to them.
He called on the stakeholders to consider the over 35,000 youths that are currently self-employed in bike-riding and see them as partners in development rather than the treating them as criminals.

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