From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Traders Unhappy with City Police
Sep 8, 2010, 17:06

The way and manner personnel of the Metropolitan Police are executing their duty within the municipality seems to anger a good number of traders who are most affected by their activities. This situation is gradually becoming unbearable as the traders have organized themselves to forward a formal complaint against them to the management of the Freetown City Council. The traders, led by the executive of an umbrella organization, ‘Concerned Traders’ spoke to our reporter yesterday on their planned protest against the city police for notoriety.

Represented by one Mrs. Mariatu Dainkeh as chairlady of the association, the traders told this reporter that they have got disgusted with the crude and barbaric ways the city police used to attack them and their wares that often result in destruction of properties.

Mrs. Mariatu Dainkeh explained that as a result of the failure by Ernest Koroma to live to their promise of providing them with suitable market places where they would be relocated when they assumed power in 2007, they had no other alternative but to continue occupying the streets for trading.  “After the elections, President Koroma visited us at Sani Abacha Street to thank us for our massive support with the assurance that his Government would stop at nothing in providing market places for us but we have seen nothing,” she stated. She said it was the same president who promised them that nobody would disturb them until provisions were made for them. “But it seems the city police and government have connived to disgrace us without meeting our promise,” she added, while blaming President Koroma for not adhering to his victory assurance to them.

“We are ready to get off the streets as soon as we are provided with markets to relocate us but for now, we have no place to go,” Mrs. Dainkeh continued, while using this forum to once more remind President Koroma to look into their constraints.

The traders also used the occasion to remind the Mayor and the APC Party that had it not been for their strong support, they would not have dreamt of defeating the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in the 2007 elections. “But unfortunately we the traders are now target of vilification, but let us wait and see what will befall the APC come 2012,” the traders echoed, adding that they were ready to make formal representation to the Mayor and the APC for their insensitivity and blatant lies.

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