Police, LMTU clash over 10PM restriction

The Liberia Motorcycle Transport Union (LMTU) has vowed that it will no longer abide by the 10:00PM  restriction that is being enforced by the Liberia National Police (LNP). The LMTU is the umbrella organization of motorcyclists, generally referred to  as  ‘pen pen’ riders in the country.

It can be recalled that  during the festive season of 2012, the LNP and the LMTU signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) to impose the restriction on the movement of motorcycles across the country by 10PM. The move was aimed at reducing the high rate of crimes, especially armed robbery in the country.

According to the Secretary General of the LMTU,  Mr. Robert Sammie, the time frame set for the execution of the 10PM restriction  expired since January 15, 2013.  Besides, Mr. Sammie claimed that some  police officers were using the exercise to extort  money from the motorcyclists, but he did not substantiate his claim against the police.

The  LMTU chief scribe made these assertions  recently when he spoke to reporters  in Monrovia. Speaking further, the LMTU chief scribe maintained that the Union has  resolved to disregard the  restriction on grounds that it is over-due and that it has not reduced crimes.  He said the Union will  back any of its  members who will violate the 10PM regulation.

He among other things added  that the agreement between the LNP and the Union is no longer legal since one of the parties-LMTU has withdrawn from the process.

Meanwhile, the LNP has sharply reacted to the LMTU’s Secretary General defiant assertions. A LNP release quotes Inspector General Chris Massaquoi as saying that the restriction  remains enforced. He emphasized that the regulation remains effective, warning that anyone caught violating would be prosecuted.

Contrary to Mr. Mr. Sammie’s claim, he stated  that the 10PM regulation for ‘pen pen’ riders has dramatically reduced crimes especially armed robbery in Monrovia and other parts of the country. Commissioner Massaquoi further called on Liberians to be law-abiding. He said citizens should do nothing to stall the peace and security of the country.



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