Liberians Bitter with Police IG on New Restriction of Motorbike Movement

Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue

Following the reported lifting of ban of motorbikes movement to restricted areas in Monrovia and its environs by the newly confirmed Inspector General (IG) of the Liberia National Police, Liberians and other nationalities say they are worried of this latest development.

Members of the Liberian Senate are also angered over the decision of the IG of Police, Patrick Sudue, noting that he was wrong to order commercial motorcyclists to resume plying restricted areas on main streets in Monrovia and its suburb.

IG Patrick Sudue relaxed the restriction in certain main streets last Saturday in a meeting with commercial motorcyclists, a move that sparked public outcry in some quarters.

Senators told the police chief when he appeared before the Senate plenary on Thursday, that his action was “unilateral”.

The police boss was told not to extend further relaxation of the restriction and consult stakeholders.

IG Sudue told the Senators that he temporarily lifted the ban on 2 of the 13 no-go zones, in line with the CDC government’s “Pro-poor” agenda.

The Police boss also said he took the decision because of the “good behavior” of the commercial motorcyclists during the recent elections.

However, a report from the LNP released to the media after the elections on January 3, 2018 proved the contrary.

According to the report, in just a brief period during the recent elections when the LNP relaxed the ban on motorcyclists plying no-go zones, eight persons died in motorbike accidents. Several others were also injured.

Releasing the report at the time, the former police administration said that prompted LNP authorities at the time to reinstate the ban on commercial motorcyclists locally referred to as “Pehm-pehm riders”.to feeder roads and neighborhoods.

Given past history, the latest move is seen as very risky, as commercial motorcyclists plying the main streets have not made our roads any safer, with countless number of crashes resulting into deaths and injuries.

Most of them neither know nor respect traffic rules, whilst carrying several persons at the time without wearing safety helmets.

It was because of the high incidents of fatal motorcycle accidents that their movements were restricted shortly after the late December 2017 presidential runoff election.

In addition to the rise in motorbike accidents, the police said at the time that some commercial motorcycles were conniving with criminals to carryout snatching of phones, bags and robbery activities.

Police said most of the victims from motorcycle crashes included children, women and the elderly.

The new Board Chairman of the Federation of Motorcycle and Tricycle Union of Liberia (FOMTUL) has threatened to punish any motorcyclists or Tri-cyclists found violating the Union’s code of conduct.

Rev. Luther Tarpeh earlier this week said the commercial motorcycle group had and an image problem that is negatively affecting the credibility of the Union.

About Cholo Brooks 14654 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.