Motorcycle and Tricycle Union of Liberia Calls for The ‘Immediate Cancellation’ of No-Go-Zone
Monrovia – The Motorcycle and Tricycle Union of Liberia, has reacted sharply to the ‘no-go-zone pronouncement by government, terming the decision as ‘marginalizing and inhumane.’
“Since the reintroduction of the no-go-zone restriction in Monrovia and its environs, the cyclists rights have been denied, which we considered a complete marginalization, abuse of power on the part of the Liberia National Police and government at large,” the Union’s Secretary General Trokon G. Gray said.
Gray referenced Article 8 and 13 of the Liberian Constitution for which he believes government is strongly contravening, urging those involved with such decision to rethink.
According to Article 8 of the Liberian Constitution, government shall direct it policies towards job opportunity for all Liberian citizens without discrimination, while Article 13 speaks to all citizens having the right to move freely in and around Liberia as long their movements do not contravene the organic laws of Liberia.
Therefore, Mr. Gray argued that for the Liberia National Police (LNP) to declare no-go-zone is an attempt to deny citizens job opportunity.
Mr. Gray, in a news conference on Monday, called for the cancellation of the no-go-zone restriction. He threatened that they will embark on a series of actions if the decision is not rescinded.
“We said with immediate effect, and if government does not adhere to our call, there are series of processes we will follow and they will see our action soon,” he said.
According to him, the reintroduction of a no-go-zone has the propensity of keeping cyclists jobless and to drive them in poverty.
He described the LNP’s decision to keep motorcyclists off the street as a clear marginalization, stressing that their plying of the street poses no threat to public safety.
According to him, removal of cyclists from the street cannot help in solving the many challenges Liberia currently faced.
The cyclists head said instead of putting halt to his men, the LNP under the stewardship of Inspector General Patrick Sudue should see the need to train motorcyclists, while at the same time working with the Ministry of Transport to revisit regulations set forth in line with the vehicle a d traffic laws of Liberia.
“According to the vehicle and traffic laws of Liberia, drivers should be trained, examined and recommended to the Ministry of Transport for driver’s license, instead, Ministry of Transport is giving driver’s license on an industrial skill,” he added.
“We can remember seeing drivers being tested around the 90’s and early 2000 on Coleman Hill Central Monrovia; is it happening?
“LNP and MOT, please revisit or reread your TOR with comprehension.”
He added that the cyclist sector holds employment for a large number of youths in Liberia and that such a restriction cannot solve the many challenges faced by these cyclists, but to rather increase it.
Just by declaring No-Go-Zone against cyclists, you have endangered their lives, because it means our presence on the road is illegal and so, drivers are killing our people intentionally,” Gray intoned.
“Besides, why should certain car be referred to as ‘killer-bean’? it’s because of their characteristics, to name few: unsafe, reckless driving, murderers or killers and so on. Besides, why should certain bikes be allowed to ride while we commercial cyclists are denied? This is the highest discrimination and gross violation of our human rights we have ever seen in our life time.”
He then called the attention of the international bodies present in Liberia to their concern, stressing that such a decision has the ability of undermining the CDC-led government Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gray calling on motorcyclists affected by the restriction to remain calm as the Union embarks on several steps to address their plights.