Home Governance As LNP & FOMTUL Ink MOU: No-go Zones …For Motorcyclists Identified

As LNP & FOMTUL Ink MOU: No-go Zones …For Motorcyclists Identified

by newsmanager

By: Linda Gbartie

MONROVIA: The Federation of Motorcycles and Tricycles Union (FOMTUL) of Liberia and the Liberia National Police (LNP) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the no-go zone enforcement.

The MOU was signed by the LNP and FOMTUL on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in Monrovia.

The LNP has been working collaboratively with the leadership of FOMTUL for the past weeks as a way of enhancing public safety and among motorcycle and tricycle riders. Both parties reached common understanding and collaboration.
The disclosure of the MOU was made at a press conference intended to provide the public with major achievements that the Liberian people deserve to know.
The Deputy Inspector General for Operations of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Col. Nelson Freeman, speaking at the press conference on the MOU at the LNP Headquarter in Monrovia yesterday said the conference marks the symbolic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that was made and entered into on April 2, 2024, by and through the LNP and the merger of the Federation of Motorcycles and Tricycles Union of Liberia (FOMTUL).
Col. Freeman said that the MOU is basically gear towards enhancing public safety and ensuring the safety of motorcyclists and tricyclists in the3 country.

According to him, over the last months, the LNP embarked on a safety campaign to ensure safety culture nationwide.
“Today is about the motorcyclists and tricyclists, the next time people will hear and see the LNP probably with the truck drivers’ union and other stakeholders who are affected by the LNP work,” he said.
Col. Freeman highlighted that the LNP intends to create a condition where drivers on the road will know when he/she needs to put on his lights and when he is bending.

“We also intend to ensure that school going kids will know where and when to cross the streets, cross-walk as well as know the meaning of the different types of lights: red, green and blue means and even ourselves as adults, some of us who are not very much aware as regards what the rules of the road are,” he added.

The LNP Deputy Inspector General for Operations added that with the signing of the MOU, LNP will get out the names of no-go zones and cut it down to restricted areas as jointly agreed to make the road from Freeport to Central Monrovia and all parts of town a restricted area for motorcycles.

He indicated that they jointly agreed to consider from ELWA Junction throughout the Tubman Boulevard and the rest of Monrovia as restricted area for motorcyclists.

Further speaking, Col. Freeman said, the keke of three riders will have a little privileged and will be allowed to move from Freeport towards town through Clara Town and Via Town corridors.
He emphasized that motorcyclists will not be allowed to use the New Bridge but rather old bridge to Waterside and will have access to all parts of Monrovia except Broad and Carey Streets as well as Keke from Jallah Town will come up on the By-pass and as far as Benson Street and go back to town and also use the UN Drive.
“The MOU also speaks to the penalty for violators. During the enforcement there will always be people who will violate as such the President of FOMTUL have prevailed on the LNP. From the initial stage of the MOU, we intended to close the Somalia Drive, a major restricted area and to make the Robert International Airport (RIA) Highway also a restricted area but due to his consistent plea, he asked us to give him the Somalia Drive and the RIA Highway,” he disclosed.

Concerning the number of motorcyclists and considering the livelihood issues that are associated with it, we thought that it was prudent enough to do and it is against that background motorcyclists will be allowed to come from the RIA Highway and ELWA Junction towards Paynesville and also use the Somalia Drive to Freeport, Duala and the rest of Town,” he mentioned.
Col. Freeman noted that the cutoff point is from ELWA Junction and Freeport.
He announced that the effective commencement date for the enforcement is on May 15, 2024 as such, they expect all citizens to be in full adherence of the law and remember that if they don’t get on these motorcycles the cyclist will not ride them.
He, at the same time, encouraged the general public to be in adherence to the rule of law, starting from May 15, 2024, as such they should not get on motorcycle in the no-go zone areas.
For his part, the President of FOMTUL, Mr. John Kenyor speaking at the event emphasized that Liberia is not the only country that try to put down restrictions.

Mr. Kenyor said the only thing is that the restriction shouldn’t be politicized, as such, anything orders than that, he cannot be part of it. But once it has to do with public safety, he is in because it is their responsibility as leaders in making sure that the society is kept protected because “one life lost is one life lost to all.”
Mr. Kenyor called on the media to help the LNP and the FOMTUL in the process as well as lawmakers who are involved in inciting motorcyclists and putting them into the field (traffic) for pecuniary gains.
The FOMTUL President said that lawmakers have a role to play by helping to proffer bills that will help and enable cyclists so that when more companies come into the country, motorcyclists can be able to get jobs and leave the motorcycle riding.
“I ran bike for eight years. Do you think to run a bike is very easy; it is not an easy thing so, I know how painful it is and our prayer is that this government will see reason to open avenue wherein cyclists can get opportunities that others incoming cyclists and those who have been there for long can transition. This is what we want to see but to see some of our lawmakers sitting on the motorcycle leaving their busy functions to oversight lawmaking and representation and get on the field to tell motorcyclists to give President Boakai a bitter Liberia. This is not about Boakai, it’s about the safety of this country. Development partners are coming in the country and the International Community is also watching how Liberians are going to maintain sanity in this country and I strongly believe that everything in this country is about politicizing it is unacceptable. This is the reason why people are refusing to come and invest in this country,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kenyor said at times as a leader you will have to close your eyes and take decisions for the betterment of the majority and this what they are doing. “I was one of ECOWAS representative to Ghana Elections and one of the leaders from South Africa asked me, John, we often hear that motorcyclists from Liberia are reckless and they are not respected of the law. It is shameful that people outside there will recognize us not as constructive contributors to the economy and the state but rather in the negative form”.
“How can we change the narrative is by the media helping us in the process. I called on the media to take charge of the issues. He emphasized that if Liberia will be protected, investors will come and invest but if Liberians will politicize everything. This is governance time, during elections we had our way but this is governance time. When we are talking about public safety, let us not politicize it. I call on the journalists because we listen to several media outlets politicizing this issue, don’t you think of the lives that have been lost. You are the same media people who were calling for this but you people are the ones now saying the government coming take bread from the people table. So what you want now. We have to keep Liberia saved,” he emphasized.
He noted that FOMTU remains committed, resolute, uncompromised and unbending in making sure that they have a protected society. He expressed the need for a Liberia where investors will come and invest and make Liberians to be employed not just by riding motorbikes.
“People shouldn’t just restrict us to riding motorbikes. Thousands of us are university graduates and students but people are not recognizing that but only because we sit on motorcycles, nobody wants to respect us; it is unacceptable,” he said.

He also frowned on anyone who will reduce motorcyclists to such demeaning level. He emphasized that they are contributing immensely to the development of the state, as such, they are not taking bread from anybody’s table.

But the fact is through their negotiation with the LNP, there were other areas that they advocated that should be opened to their people to run.
He said even central Monrovia, they had some parking stations and access to cross various points, which the motorcyclists cannot tell us that except they ride on the main routes.

“We talked about trainings, they are parts of the things we want. He called on other partners for massive and compulsory trainings on road and public safety and the respect for the rule of law by all motorcyclists as contained in the MOU.

Very soon they will introduce a coding for motorcyclists as well as uniforms for every commercial motorcyclists in order to cut down criminals’ acts.

We want to do the right things and be on the safe side of history. We call on every motorcyclist and tri-cyclist rider that those of them that want to be against the law and don’t want to be restricted, the law will take its course. They will not tolerate anybody disrespecting the law under their watch as such they should continue to be peaceful as they continue to advocate for the cyclists.

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