January 19, 2022
By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
A little over four years since the ban of commercial motorbikes plying the central business district of Freetown, Sierra Leone police have confiscated over eight thousand bikes, says John Samuel Kailondo Bangs, Bike Riders Association National Secretary General.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Times, Samuel Kailondo Bangs said most of the commercial motor bikes, locally known as ‘Okada’ were confiscated within the Freetown municipality.
While calling on government’s quick intervention, Mr. Bangs said the bike rider’s executive was trying to meet with the Sierra Leone police to see how best they can have a common understanding to salvage the problem.
“The issue of the police holding bikes is not a novelty, the Sierra Leone police over the years have demarcated the Central Business District (CDB) where bikes should operate and have extended it to areas that were not part of the CDB,” he said.
The Secretary General further said they have over sixty motor parks all over the city through which they raise revenue and contribute to national development, but however complained that most of the said parks and those within the provincial districts lack toilet facility.
The Sierra Leone Association of Bike Riders has over one million two hundred members within their data base and the number is increasing every single day, he said.
Responding to these allegations, the Sierra Leone police Media 2, Superintendent Saio Conteh said most of those bikes are confiscated because most of the riders flouted the rules that prevent them from plying the central business district, saying that the ban of motorbikes plying the CDB was no respecter of anyone regardless of the person’s personality.
“The bike riders within the capital city have no respect for the rule of law, they have been arrested and charged to court because they refuse to abide by the law that prohibit them from plying the CBD,” he said.
Reacting to allegations that most of the motorbikes plying the CBD belong to Police Officers, Supt. Conteh said most people who come to claim ownership of impounded motorbikes at the Central Police Station don’t have license or document to prove they own the bikes.
“Many people make false claims about the Police because they don’t want to be law abiding. If you see a bike owned by a police officer plying the CBD, report that to us. We also want to arrest one police officer so that we can set a precedent,” he said.