The deputy minister of Transport and Aviation, Capt. Allieu Pat Sowe, over the weekend effected operation push-back and free flow on traders, motorists and bike riders in Freetown.
The spate of street trading and unlawful packing by motorists has greatly affected the smooth flow of vehicular traffic especially at Garrison, Rawdon, Goderich, Sani Abacha, Wilberforce, ECOWAS, and Back Streets.
There are some streets like Lumley, Free, Short, and Sackville that have either proven difficult to use or impossible to use at all.
Politicians are taking their time now in dealing with the issue of street trading fearing to fall victims like the former government, which became unpopular among the petty traders.
The deputy Transport and Aviation minister whilst on operation Friday at the East End Police spoke to Awoko about the reason for the operation. “We took the initiative because we cannot continue having a congested city. This city is supposed to operate freely, vehicles opt to ply unhindered not to stop on prohibited areas, and traders cannot occupy the roads preventing road users,” he noted.
He said, “people should not do what they feel like doing and bike riders cannot just ride like that. That is why we came out in full force together with the traders’ union and association so that we will have operation push back for the traders and free flow for the vehicles successfully.”
Asked about provision for the building of a market for the traders he answered, “we inherited a government that did not construct a market for traders as the present ones are overcrowded. But what we are trying to do first is minimize the congestion and later identify places for improvement for the construction of markets.”
Capt. Sowe stated that, “imagine somebody needed an emergency treatment at the hospital, where are the roads and when the children want to go to school on time but are held in traffic.
This country cannot be in a standstill and we are not going to allow that.”