Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd. Palo Conteh has warned all politicians in the country to stop supporting lawlessness in the country. He made this statement on Monday at his office due to many reports criticising him about his stance to clear bike riders from the Central Business District (CBD).
The minister said Sierra Leone is not the only country where motor bike is a means of transportation, but said the disadvantages of it in Sierra Leone have outweighed the advantages, so it was time to put a stop to them so that pedestrians and vehicles will have a respite when using the major streets including the CBD areas.
Rtd. Maj. Palo Conteh said so many people have been commending the drive but there are politicians who want to use it to score political gain. “As I have said before, this is not time for politics, this is time for us to be disciplined and make the country a better place, so if politicians think this is their opportunity to condone lawlessness, then I wonder what kind of government they would want to build in the future.”
He made it clear that today many people even though they auffer a little to enter the CBD, they are happy that they can work freely and safely without always looking over their shoulders for an ‘okada’ that will knock them down.
Minister Palo Conteh said there are still some of these riders that still defy the ban and they come into the CBD area throughout the day. ‘Let me warn you, the passenger you are carrying and you the rider when apprehended, both of you will be arrested.”
He said they should be law abiding citizens by obeying the laws of the land so that they would not fall victim of the law.
The minister stressed that the next thing they are going to check for is the registration of these bikes around. “Every bike rider should make sure that his motor bike is lincensed and insured at all times. You the rider should have your license if you fail to obey the rules of the game then you are in for trouble. You must always wear your helmet and make sure you have a spare one for your passengers, if you fail to meet all these traffic laws, then you are in for trouble with the law and not Palo Conteh.”
The minister said he is warning the taxi drivers that are now taking advantage of the current situation by asking for double fare. He said they are working modalities and they will soon turn their attention to them.
He also called on the traders not to sell on the streets and footpaths but to push back so that pedestrians can use the side walks. “I am appealing to you all to make sure you create that space for us to walk, we know you are finding it difficult because there is not enough market places for you to sell, but please give way to pedestrians to walk around without having problems.”
Rtd. Palo Conteh has made it very clear that Sierra Leone will develop rapidly when lawlessness is combated and he will not relent so long the President has given him the mandate.