By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.
MONROVIA: The newly inducted President-General of the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia (FRTUL), Mr. Augustus M. Kamara has cautioned members of the organization that gone are those days when personal interests were placed above improving the union’s status, a situation he observed, has led to the organization’s to dormancy over the years.
The FRTUL’s President-General informed the gathering of the union’s Chapter members who had gathered to witness the induction of officials elected during the May 19, 2022 polls that the union under, his leadership, is poised to graduate from what he calls the “dormancy syndrome to vibrancy”.
He said: “Today marks a new day in the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia. It is a period of transformation, taking it from dormancy to vibrancy. All of us should be held accountable to each other for the progress and growth, ensuring that the union’s funds be directed to the union’s improvement rather than individual improvement”.
Making induction remarks at the induction and fund-raising program, for the construction of FRTUL National Headquarters, President-General Kamara used the occasion to call on the Government of Liberia (GOL) to deem it fit and invest in the transport sector through the construction of transport facilities across the country.
He said the government must do this as it is currently doing in the construction of market structures across Liberia on grounds that vehicles and drivers play a pivotal role in ensuring market that produce are brought to various markets centers from rural to urban centers.
According to Mr. Kamara, the construction of transport facilities in all parts of the country will greatly help to ease the current constrains faced by drivers, passengers and as well marketers in the transport sector.
“We like to thank the Government for the erection of the beautiful markets all around the country. However, such effort should be extended to the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia because it is the drivers and their vehicles that bring the food stuffs to the various market, without the vehicles and trained drivers, the food stuffs will not be brought to the market,” he pointed out.
Kamara has also requested the government to give back FRTUL the parcel of land situated on the right side of the Gabriel Tucker Bridge which, according to him, was given to the union by late President Samuel Kanyon Doe for FRTUL to begin its full operation until the construction of its headquarters is completed.
He said: “In Montserrado, the land which is near the Gabriel Tucker Bridge on the Bushrod Island, opposite the Chevron Park where old cars are currently been parked was the spot that the FRTUL National office was erected but was destroyed during the country’s civil war that began on December 24, 1989 and ended in August 2003.
“We like to appeal to the Government of Liberia to remove the old cars and give back to us the land to erect our headquarters,” he appealed.
The Saturday, July 16, 2022 induction ceremony of the FRTUL held in the edifice of the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Center situated on 9th Street in Sinkor, was the first of its kind since the organization was birthed in 1982.
The FRTUL, as the oldest union organization, was birthed in 1982, by veteran drivers with the primary goal of ensuring drivers are organized on a first come first serve basis, ensure passengers luggage’s were safely handled and placed in vehicles that manifested for reference in the event of misplacement.
The goal of the FRTUL’s establishment was to also ensure vehicles parking stations were built to house both drivers and passengers including their belongings as well as to ensure marketers would leave the main streets and move to the parking stations for trading purpose.
Meanwhile, the FRUTL which aimed at moving toward generating funds for the construction its national headquarters valued at US$500,000 raised an initial amount of US$1,151 and L$90, 650 during the induction ceremony.
Pledges for the construction of FRTUL National Headquarters amounted to US$345 and L$87,500 including 141 bags of cement and ten truck load of sand.
The five acres of land on which FRTUL is expected to construct it National Headquarters situated in the vicinity of 14th Omega Market was provided by the Government of Liberia.