The Deputy Minister of Youth, Hon. Lusine Kallon has on Wednesday September, 18, 2019 toured the east end of Freetown to peacefully resolve the proposed strike action of the Sierra Leone Commercial Motor Bike Riders Union.
This move was necessitated by the heightened internal conflict among members and a reported external interference.
The Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and his team visited Shell Old Road, Brima Lane and PMB at Wellington to dialogue and amicably address their burning concerns.
Addressing over three hundred riders, the Deputy Minister reminded them of President Julius Maada Bio’s war on Lawlessness, Corruption and Poverty. That made the Deputy Minister to add “discipline” to their motto in support of President Bio’s war to end indiscipline among young people.
“I was not appointed to represent a set of tribe, region or political party,” the Deputy Minister said. He went on to say that, “I am serving as a Deputy Minister for all Sierra Leoneans including the Commercial Motor Bike Riders Union.
He alluded that their concerns were genuine and vowed to sustainably address them for the growth of the Union. He said President Bio and the New Direction administration have enormous respect for them and will continue to support them, but also warned them to obey the law and be responsible in their trade.
He said they should learn to tailor their concerns through their leaders as according to him, “leadership is from God.”
Tilae Bah, President of the Union said his executive just assumed office and has been confronted with a lot of challenges ranging from welfare, conducive offices, hostile police relationship, internal wrangling among members and effective administration.
He said,” the good thing is that we have the right Minister, Hon. Lusine Kallon who has been restless to ensure the Union is sanitized and the welfare of our membership is maximized.”
He said if the Deputy Minister is in the sun for the rest of the day, it means the Union has the support of the current Government.
The Director of Livelihood Skills Project, Victor Muana revealed that the Ministry has designed a lot of programs and projects for the empowerment of young people.
“One among the many is the Youth in Commercial Transportation,” said Victor, adding that plans are underway to support them with tricycle (Keke) and motorcycles (Okada).
He strongly admonished them to resist being misused by failed politicians. He said strike action of any form is not healthy and therefore encouraged them to be patriotic.
Among the many concerns was the increment in the sale of tickets, daily police harassment, interference from the main All Peoples Congress (APC) party to disrupt the activities of the ruling Government and the unwarranted fines by the BMO.
After their concerns, the Deputy Minister summoned them to his office next week Tuesday to dialogue as a family and chart the way forward.