By Ibrahim Jaffa Condeh
Public Relations Officer of the Freetown City Council (FCC), Cyril Mattia, has disclosed to Concord Times that council will not relent in its determination to remove traders from all major streets in Freetown, including the notorious Sani Abacha Street.
Traders at the busy thoroughfare, named after the former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha in recognition of his unwavering support to the ousted democratically elected government of President Kabbah in 1997, have been up in arms recently after moves by the municipal council to remove them from the street.
The traders, who are predominantly women, have used political patronage to remain on the street. They took to the streets of Freetown last week to complain about the Mayor’s ultimatum for them to vacate the street by 6th January. They went to the Inspector-General of Police, who reportedly refused to grant them audience, and later to the Minister of Trade, Alhaji Usu Boie Kamara, who addressed the irate traders and assured them that government will find an amicable solution to the matter.
According to Mr. Mattia, the council is determined to stem lawlessness on the streets of the municipality, not least Abacha Street.
“His Worship the Mayor of Freetown, Bode Gibson, is determined to work day and night to see that street traders adhere to the council’s rules and regulations,” he said, adding that plans are in progress to put an end to street trading along the busy streets of Freetown.
However, a petty trader at the popular street, Musu Kamara, said street trading is an occupation for most of them as proceeds from sales are used to take care of their families.
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“We call on the Freetown City Council to allow us do our business on Abacha Street as we are all peaceful citizens of Sierra Leone,” she said defiantly.