SLP QUELLS DOWN RIOT AT GRAFTON AND JUI AXIS
For those who traverse the Freetown/Waterloo highway on a daily basis, or even once in a while, would agree and attest to the fact that Jui junction is notorious for tense traffic hold-ups, throughout the day.
There is no gainsaying that perpetual traffic hold-ups on our major roads adversely affects the normal flow of people and goods, and by extension, negatively impacts on the economy of the country.
Government and private employees who commute from homes to work or conversely also suffer from long delays on the roads before having to reach their offices or homes. This, somehow, affects their output and efficiency at work. It was observed that the usual habit of traders flooding the streets with their wares and also constructing illegal market stalls on the ‘right of way’ were the major factors responsible for the traffic problems around the Grafton and Jui axis.
Against this backdrop, and in line with keeping with their mandate to preserve the ‘right of way’ (RoW), the Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRA) on Saturday 6th February, 2021, undertook an operation that saw the demolition of all illegal market stalls around Grafton onto Jui junction. This exercise was aimed at decongesting and freeing-up the traffic around those areas.
To our utter dismay, the SLP was made to contend with the actions of irate youth this Sunday morning (07/02/2022).
These youth are presumably traders affected by SLRA’s demolition exercise on Saturday 6th February, 2021.
They angrily stormed the streets of Grafton leading to Jui junction, blocking roads, burning tyres, pelting stones and locally made petrol bombs on Police Officers deployed to provide security in those areas.
With the view to restoring sanity, which is part of our statutory and constitutional mandate (maintaining law and order and preventing and detecting crime), personnel from the Operations Support Division (OSD) based at Delta Stronghold (Jui Barracks) reinforced the team on ground and quickly quelled down the riotous conduct and disorderly behaviour of these youth.
In the process, the team arrested twenty-two (22) rioters, of which four were female. Equally so, all the affected streets have been successfully cleared of debris, thereby resuming normal flow of traffic to those initially affected places.