There appears to be glimmerings of hope for a solution to the currently trending disenchantment among commercial drivers as well as their supporters, most of whom are petty traders as a committee made of the religious leaders in Margibi has begun consultations with the agrieved parties as well as the government, through the offices of the Superintendent and the City Mayor.
It may be recalled that on Friday January 24, hundreds of commercial drivers, mainly under the auspicies of the Federation of Road Transport Union (FRTUL) and petty traders marched to the offices of both the Superitendent of Margibi and the City Mayor of Kakata demanding an immediate reconsideration of the decision to remove them from the main street of the city.
Esther S. Michael and Adolphus Fallah, two spokespersons repectively for the street market women and the FRTUL accused the City Corporation of Kakata of doing business sureptitiously (secretly and not legal) with businessman Sackie Flomo, owner of the new plot designated for the relocation of the parking from the main street of Kakata without their involvement.
Ms. Michael alleged that Mr. Flomo is a friend to City Mayor Emmanuel Goll and as such they are into a deal not in the interest of the general population of Kakata.
She said in an interview with the Daily Observeron January 24 that their petty goods are bought most ofetn by passenegers brought in Kakata by the drivers and argued that Sackie Flomo’s gift was far away from the main town, thereby posing serious security concerns for the vulnerable people.
Adolphus Fallah, in appreciation of Ms. Michael and heer friends for their stand with the drivers union in Kakata, said Police had been brutal against harmless drivers and marketers.
Both the offices of the City Mayor, Emmanuel Goll and the Superintendent, Jerry Varnie advised the commercial drivers against parking on the main street of Kakata in order to curtail or put to an end the numerous motor vehicle accidents, some of which have caused the loss of lives.
Both the City Mayor and the Superintendent said a committee has been formed to find an amicable solution to the current disenchantment from the drivers and the marketers.
Superintendent Varnie said the religious leaders intervened by calling on the local government to allow a dialogue in order to find a suitable place for the aggrived residents of the City and the County of Margibi in general.
“We had to listen to them because we are all working in the best interest of our county. The conference held here with the religious leaders and the aggrieved residents clearly spoke to us that a period of one month, two weeks is needed to settle the matter, particularly with regard to the finding of a suitable place for the drivers to move to,” Varnie to the Daily Observer recently in an interview at his office.
When contacted via mobile phone, the head of the committee comprised of the County’s religious leaders said there is a hope of solution finding to the situation.
“We have begun the dialogue with the aggrieved parties. What we were told is that they were left out of the plan concerning the use of Sackie Flomo’s plot of land given to the City Corporation for use by the drivers and the marketers,” Bishop Emmanuel Sesay of Kingdom of God Church said.
Bishop Sesay is the head of the committee helping to resolve the issues surrounding the drivers relocation.
He said he and the aggrieved parties, as well as other members of the mediation committee and the City Council went out on site seeing in order to reach a conclusion that will meet the concensus of all those involved.
“We have from now up to March 10 to reach a decision and with this time we are confident that the right thing will be done,” Bishop Sesay said.
Meanwhile, in an interview recently with the Daily Observer, businessman Sackie Flomo said it is his prayer that politics will be put aside when business or other non political issues are discussed or treated.
“I gave the three acres land to the City Corporation free of charge. In fact the negotiation requesting me to help with my land which is not faraway from main Kakata started in the concluding two years of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” Flomo said.
He added: “Am I stupid to pay any money to people because I want them to occupy my own land I paid for? It sounds funny but I cant’t blame our people, they are challenged by the current realities.”
He said he has no plan to ask both the drivers and the marketers out of the place once occupied by them.
“I don’t want any money from them and I will not ask them to leave. The agreement is between the government, through the City Corporation of Kakata and I, not the drivers or the marketers. So they should not worry,” he admonished them.
Flomo noted that he has traveled and has seen lots of good things in other countries and as such he things that individual citizens of a country can help help in bringing about change.
“I have signed to legal documents to which I must at all times adhere. I too will be running my own businesses there but I will not collect a dollar from anyone. The City Corporation will be the only authorized agaency to collect the regular taxes through ticketing,” he said.