By: Jeremiah Mulbah In Kakata
Commercial drivers in Kakata, Margibi County have for the past two days staged a Go-Slow, calling attention of the Mayor of Kakata City, Emmanuel Gull, to stop infringing on their rights by relocating their parking onto the property of a private businessman. The drivers, some of whom were seen gathered on the Kakata –Gbarnga highway, also said they were disenchanted by the mandate given them by the city authorities to relocate their parking lot far from the city.
The drivers mentioned that days ago, armed police disallowed them entry to their various parking, something which posed serious economic challenge to them, thus creating hardship form them and their families.
The situation, the drivers said, has deprived them their regular daily earnings to the detriment of their bosses and families, saying that the new location which is at the Sackie Flomo business center in the World Bank Community is not conducive and is very risky when cars from Ganta and Gbarnga are always speeding.
In separate remarks, some of the commercial drivers alleged that they are being relocated to Sackie Flomo’s property because they (drivers) suspected that the mayor and Sackie had agreed that to using the Sackie property for parking so that our passengers will be buying his Sackie’s business.
“Mr. Gull received bribe from businessman Sackie Flomo so that our parking lot can move at his business site, so that in return most of the local businessmen and women will keep buying his goods because the passenger will gather” one of the drivers alleged.
The aggrieved drivers added that if the city authorities do not reconsider their decision, they will make sure to pack all cars of commercial drivers in Kakata until their plight is address.
Meanwhile, the situation led angry market women in Kakata to amass at the offices of the City Mayor on Monday asking him to clarify why commercial drivers are not at their usual parking.
The market women in angry tone said, their goods continue to damage due to the new order from the Mayor to relocate the drivers. They said, paying additional money from where they buy their goods to where the Mayor wants the driver to go is very costly, something they are not willing to do.
The women also alleged that Major Gull have received a good some of money from businessman Sackie Flomo to order drivers pack at his place something they term as total wickedness.
On Thursday, January 23, group of market women and commercial drivers gathered at the offices of the Superintendent to seek his intervention in to the matter. The gathering saw thousands of aggrieved market women and commercial drivers with inscriptions on placards “Leave our drivers alone, give back their usually parking ‘’Sackie Kollie spot is demonic”.
“Buying our goods and taking it to where the City`s authorities wants our drivers to go is a distance and we do not have extra transportation to pay motorcyclists with the current economy condition in our country” said Cecelia Flomo one of the local business women.
For his part, the spokesperson for the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia (F.R.T.U.L) Margibi Chapter, Mr. Adophus T. Fallah said the action by the city authorities to locate drivers far from the city is something meant to cause chaos in the county.
The FRTUL Spokesperson told this paper that armed policemen have barricaded their usual parking lot in the city, thus causing drivers to lost jobs from cars owners. Adophus maintained that the action by the commercial drivers to go-slow was due to the too many intimidations from the county authority and security.
He called on the City authorities to revive their decision and gave the drivers their parking, citing if that is not done they will continue to Go-slow.
The peaceful gathering was similar to the Council of Patriot (COP) January 6 protest Monrovia where people were seen bringing rice for cooking. “We want eat, we want eat, we want eat” the group shouted as some commercial drivers pull in with bags of rice.
For his part, Mayor Gull said the commercial drivers and marketers are being heavily backed by politicians in the county something he believes is wrong. Emmanuel Gull added that the decision to relocate the commercial drivers has long overdue and his office will not be in the capacity to dialogue because the matter is now in the hands of national government.
Mayor Goll told this paper that the decision to relocate the drivers to Sackie Kollie place in the World Bank Community is due to the too many accidents cases being reported in the county. He Narrated that drivers are always in the constant happy of loading their cars close to the road, something he said violate the city`s ordinances.
“They are saying businessman Sackie give me money to carry the parking at his place. That is not true. It is false, misleading and has no aorta of truth” Mr. Gull noted. He maintained that Sackie Kollie, the businessman in question willingly give the land to the City to have it used as parking lot when they (the County authorities) were in search of a new parking lot.