With the presence of hard core criminals around the vicinity of the Freetown Big Market at Wallace Johnson Street, the Chairman of the market Alhassan Kamara has raised serious concern over what he described as ‘government turning a blind eye to the security of the market.’
“Those notorious criminals who were imprisoned some months back for wrecking havoc on innocent and peaceful citizens were recently seen around the market vicinity” the Chairman revealed.
He confirmed that, they have drawn the attention of the Police, to get rid of those criminals masquerading around the market, but to no avail.
He further explained that, most of them trade in bulky goods such as building materials and carvings which could not be moved easily.
“Every day our goods are been stolen from the market store because we don’t take them home for safe keeping after a whole day’s business,” he said.
He said, they are supposed to be covered by the Metropolitan Police but noted that none of them are available at the market even when the Council made the commitment to provide them with security.
When asked whether the Central Police Station adjacent to them could render them security services to compliment the Metropolitan Police, he replied that regular Police are expected to deliver general security services to everyone in the Country; noting that the Freetown City Council is tasked to provide specific security services to them and other markets in the Freetown municipality.
He commended the efforts of the past government in reconstructing the market after been razed to ashes by rebels in January 1999; but however pointed out that certain amenities like toilet facilities and electricity are extremely lacking in the market.
Talking on the background of the market, the Chairman concluded that, the market was established in 1808 as a store where freed slaves receive their supplies but was later on transformed into a big time market.
By Solomon Rogers