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As ‘Okada’ Ban Takes Effect this Week… Multi-Million Office For Waterloo Riders

Ilyasa Baa

Commercial motorbike riders at the Waterloo 55 Park have been banned by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) from plying the roads after 12 midnight effective past Monday 23rd July.

While the ban has come into effect, the Bike Riders Union in the Western Area Rural District (WARD) is busy constructing a three-storey building that will be used as their offices when the project concludes.

According to the Chairman of the Park, Abu Bakarr Mansaray alias Commander Gbehu, the building projectis supported mainly by the dues collected from registered commercial motorbike riders with a membership of about 4000 that buy tickets at Le2000 per day.

He said his administration has taken seven months in office and they intend to complete the building project before elections are held in 2020. Commander Gbehu expressed the need for goodwill organizations to aid the construction project, noting that the union is helping young people to be more productive than being perpetrators of violence in society.

Vice Chairman of the Waterloo Bike Riders Union, FodayBrimaKamara disclosed that close to Le100 Million has been spent on a building project for their union.

According to the Vice Chairman, over Le100 Million is needed to complete the building project as early as possible. “We promised riders during our campaign that we will build offices and now we have started fulfilling our campaign promises,” Foday B. Kamara said.

He assured that commercial motorbike riders were ready to comply with the after 12:00mid-night ban on them which took effect past Monday at Waterloo.

The Vice Chairman stressed that the union would ensure the ban is fully implemented as a security measure recently put inplace by the new Local Unit Commander of the Waterloo Police Station, CSP Ambrose Sovula.

It could be recalled that the LUC had a successful meeting with the commercial motorbike riders executives where they unanimously agreed to cooperate fully with the police.

LUC Sovula had explained that the ban was meant to safeguard lives and properties owing to reports that commercial motorbike riders are used by criminals to perpetuate heinous crimes and disturb the peace of citizens.