GANTA, Nimba – After several complaints of private motorcyclists being harassed on the main streets of Ganta, Liberia National Police officers have heeded calls from residents and business owners to restrict the movement of officers of the Liberia Motorcycle Transport Union.
Residents complained that the union’s officers were frequently harassing owners of bikes that had not paid dues and acquired the union’s stickers, even if they were not commercial motorcyclists.
The LNP’s Larmie Ben said the police had no option but to restrict the union’s movement in the city. He said the complaints noted that the union security would leave their parking lots and patrol the streets to harass even government workers who came from far flung areas to collect their pay.
The police have now decided to restrict the union’s operations to its 11 parking lots in the city. Ben said the restrictions would take immediate effect and all police officers were authorized to arrest violators.
“All the heads of the union were in my office… and we all concluded that they should be at their various parking lots,” he said. “And we gave them some warning that all of their security [officers] should be assigned daily at their various parking lots to carry on their functions.”
Ben said the police took the measure to ensure that citizens could move in and out of the city freely, without harassment.
Commercial motorcycling has become a leading means of survival for young Liberian men. However, these riders are often blamed for facilitating criminal activities. Unions were established to better regulate and govern the activities of the motorcyclists.
Featured photo by Arrington Ballah