On Tuesday Septembers 6, 2022, a cross section of the executive of the Sierra Leone Drivers’ Union paid Courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police – Mr. William Fayia Sellu, at his George Street office at Police Headquarters, in Freetown.
Whilst presenting reasons for the visit, the President, Sierra Leone Drivers’ Union, Mr. Alpha Umaru Bah stated that the august visit was to congratulate the IGP on his appointment, as well as familiarizing themselves with him and his administration.
On behalf of the Union, Mr. Bah extended condolences to the IGP and the bereaved families of the officers who met their demise during the August 10 insurrection. He however disassociated himself and his entire membership from the August 10 insurrection as he boastfully claimed that his members are law abiding citizens of this country and that they would not succumb to conduct themselves in such an awful manner.
Whilst highlighting some other reasons that prompted the visit, Mr. Bah noted that the Union seeks the intervention of the IGP, in respect of a certain group of Sierra Leoneans who are about to erect a base at the Texaco Lorry Park, which, he said, could be an impediment on the daily activities and operations of their members.
He called on the IGP to also look into the issue of minor traffic offences and appealed that the IGP considers instituting a warning method rather than arresting and charging their members (Drivers) to court for such minor offences.
He made such request on the premise that there had been a long-standing cordial relationship between the SLP and SLDU; for which he said that SLDU had been a supporting pillar to past and present governments in Sierra Leone.
Taking such requests into cognizance, the IGP affirmatively responded in approval of both requests and promised to contact the appropriate authorities whom he said could provide the requisite solutions to their problems.
He noted that he had worked with the Union in the past and further stated that he was familiar with their problems and challenges.
In concluding, the IGP said; “I want your drivers to note that there is the law and the reason for which they punish people for breaking the law is for it to serve as a deterrent. You have the responsibility to obey the law, respect the enforcement officers and comply with road safety measures. Sometimes, law enforcement officers have the authority to force compliance, because it is constitutional but that should not prompt drivers to insult and assault them while performing their duties”.
The IGP said that he was not going to take it lightly should any driver insult or assault law enforcement officers. He therefore urged them to continue to build partnership with other state institutions and stakeholders; as he put it, ‘it will surely ensure a good outcome’.
On a final note, he said that he expects drivers to assist in the curbing of crime and the arresting of criminals in society, by helping to provide relevant information that may lead to a meaningful arrest.
He assured them of his support at all times.