A Civil Society Activist representing Lifeguard Children’s Foundation Sierra Leone, Mohamed Osman Bangura aka POLITICAL, who doubles as Journalist has raised serious concern over the manners in which commercial drivers are maltreating passengers and he is calling on the Sierra Leone Police, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and law enforcers to act promptly on this mayhem.
He said that, drivers plying from Freetown to Waterloo and the provinces are forcing passengers to pay above the normal government price, adding that drivers are tasking people to pay Le5000 from Bombay to Waterloo, Le3000 from East End Police/Bombay to Shell, Portee, Wellington and Calaba town whilst the provincial drivers are collecting Le50,000 from Shell/Texaco or Waterloo to Kambia, Makeni, Mile 91 Bo and other provincial places whose official price is 35000 or 40,000 Leones.
“The problem of transportation in Sierra Leone is still a menace for residents in the Western Area, especially those residing in Waterloo. Even though vehicles have been assigned to different destinations, yet there are difficulties in transportation due to the attitude of some drivers who intentionally create unnecessary suffering for the vulnerable people. Almost all the drivers have changed their destinations, leaving the people/passengers in a hurry”, he narrated. Adding that he sometimes pity people who struggle for transportation to and from their houses.
He says he is disappointed to see a vehicle that is boldly written on its bonnet Waterloo, Aberdeen or other areas but conveniently plying half way, stating that it is sometimes done out of impunity due to too much pressures drivers are faced in the hands of traffic Police Officers, all in the name of booking.
He registered his disappointment that this will create a lot of inconvenience for the smooth running of public transports especially when we are in the midst of the COVID-19.
He said sometimes drivers and conductors are collecting extra monies from passengers for the front seat which they claimed to be a special seat.
Mohamed Osman Bangura (Political) noted that about 70% of the people that are trading in the streets and other market areas in Freetown are residents of Waterloo, Hastings ,Jui, Grafton, Calaba town Wellington etc.
He concluded that the development of a nation lies on the attitude of its citizens and if Sierra Leone should change, people should be willing to change their attitude.