As Youth Unemployment becomes Worrisome…
Mile 91 Commercial Bike Riders Call for Election, Not Selection...
By YusifuTejan Kamara
The Sierra Leone Commercial Bike Riders Union is one of the biggest employment entities in the country. It is believed to have gained its glory and momentum when Sierra Leoneans with University Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificatesstarted conveying passengers from one destination to another through transportation agreements.
In Mile 91 Town, riders and their pillions, community people, the police and other local authorities have been in cordial relationship to the extent of sharing their phone numbers for any urgent movements by the passengers.
The Union has been led an executive headed by a Chairman since its establishment.
In recent times, the riders had left with mixed feelings and pointing at the stakeholders to have been fueling the unrest situation they are encountering with regards their union’s leadership.
Speaking to a large group of its membership on Thursday, 4th October, 2018 at the main Mile 91 roundabout, the peaceful protesters expressed dismay over the actions of some stakeholders for not upholding and interpreting their Union’s Constitution, especially the area that specifically talked about the Chairperson Position.
According to the Secretary General for the Union, Sorious Mohamed Koroma, the appointment of Abdul as the New Chairman of the Union was manipulated by few riders in Mile 91 and riders from Yoni Bana Town.
“They went to the Regent Chief, Pa KaprSanka and made a submission that they have unanimously agreed as riders to surrender Abdul as they think he was the most qualified and fittest among the membership to serve as the Chairman for the Union in Mile 91, which was unknown to over 70% of us the members including the executives”, the Secretary said.
Lamin Tonka Koroma is a rider with over six years’ experience, who has faced various challenges while riding in Yoni Chiefdom, especially in the raining season when all the feeder roads linking one village to another are in a deplorable status.
Along the line, he has also got success stories which, among them, are a child, a house, and few motorbikes.
“But the recent actions perpetrated by some stakeholders after the March General Elections to change our Chairman will not be accepted and tolerated inany way. The Union has its constitution which we should go by strictly with no political/local authority interference”, the young man said.
Abdul Y. Kamara, the former chairman who is still with the intention to maintain the position said, he has been targetedfor being an APC member and that he was Selected by the party authorities during their time in office and therefore, ‘what goes around always comes around”, meaning one good turn deserve another.
He furthered that he still has the command and control of the membership and that he will not let them down because of the selfish interest of the few members,as they are in the majority.
This medium has explored all its efforts to reach the newly appointed Chairman (Abdul) but has proved futile.
“I contested with Sheika Kamara and BobsonKoroma for the position and after a rigorous campaign in our area of control, we came together and I was selected to serve as the Chairman for the Union. I have been securing motorbikes for the riders on loan and providing the required leadership role for all registered members in and out of the Chiefdom. I am the substantive chairman until my term expires”, he said.
When contacted in his Court Barray, the Regent Chief, Pa KaprSanka said, he is the first gentleman of the chiefdom whose appointment was due to the willingness of the majority of the inhabitants of the chiefdom, because of his good working relationship with everyone and as someone who was occupying the seat of the Chairman for all the ceremonial chiefs in Yoni Chiefdom for quite a long time.
The New Direction government thought it fits to seal and endorse him for the position.
“I am serving my conscience, my thoughts, and my God. Everybody in this Yoni Mamila Chiefdom is in my heart and I pray for God’s direction and protection.
A cross section of the bike riders escorted Abdul with a huge caravan of motorbikes and said they have agreed as a Union to present him to me for my notice and blessing. I told them I am not responsible to select nor to interfere into Groups/Associations/Unions activities, but for the respect you have given to me, I acknowledge your presentation and I wish him all that he wish for the Union”, the Chief Concluded.
Residents of Mile 91 Town and its surroundings are calling on the stakeholders to find an amicable approach of bringing the unrest situation to a halt.
They are calling on the Bike Riders Union across the country to double their efforts to reach Mile 91 and interpret what is stated in their constitution to prevent commotion among its membership.
They have also called on the government to look into the matter and institute the appropriate measures that will prevent any loss of life, as its mandate is to protect all its citizens and the provision of basic amenities for all.