The Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia (FRTUL) is threatening to take her sisterly organization, the Liberia Motorcycle Transport Union, to court over what FRTUL calls disgruntled behavior of commercial motorcyclists, the latest of which included the burning of a 10-wheel truck in Ganta over the weekend.
Speaking an exclusive interview on May 18 at the FRTUL Nimba Chapter office, FRTUL interim president for the county, Youjaa Korkor, said motorcyclists’ involvement in burning cars whenever accidents occurred is unlawful and the FRTUL will not hesitate to legal action against LMTU.
“We are going to sue the LMTU because their members are destroying our vehicles and at the end of the day nothing will come out,” he said.
Korkor said “Though human life is more valuable accident is not something that a driver means to let happen and therefore we should handle accidents through the legal means.”
“We condemn those motorcyclists who allegedly carried out the burning of the car and we will not wait to see this action go unpunished,” Korkor warned.
On Sunday, May 17 angry motorcyclists went on rampage in Ganta and set ablaze a 10-tire truck, following an accident with a motorcyclist about 9p.m.
According to police, the truck marked TT-261 was on its way to Monrovia from Ganta when it collided with a motor bike at the Gbloryee Junction close to the UNMIL fence killing the motorcyclist.
Ganta Police Detail Commander Sgt. Parker Y. Howelley told the Daily Observer Nimba that they tried to contain the angry crowd, but were overpowered to set the truck ablaze.
“While we were talking with the cyclists to remain calm, they began stoning the car with all sorts of objects at the same trying to loot the truck.”
He said when the pem-pem riders discovered that the goods on the board the truck were not items to be removed or looted (i.e., chicken feed), they diverted their action to burning the truck.
Korkor explained that the FRTUL is there to protect all vehicles under their banner as well as all passengers. LMTU Nimba Branch officials were not available for comment.
The body of Jerry Paye, the deceased motorcyclist, has been deposited at a local funeral home in Ganta, while a man haunt continues for the suspects, four of whom have already been arrested.
The Bain Garr District Commissioner, Ms. Shelley Brown, has shouldered the responsibility as owner of the truck and is now in contact with the victim’s family for other arrangements, the police said.
This is the third time for motorcyclists to set vehicle ablaze in Nimba County following similar accident.
In 2009, a government jeep carrying some officials from Bong to witness a game in Grand Kru County was set ablaze after it instantly killed a motorcyclist in Ganta.
Again, in 2012, a truck was set ablaze in Flompa (Ganta-Seclepea highway) after it collided with a motorbike and instantly killed the rider.
In all of these cases, arrests were made but, so far, nothing has happened to those accused of perpetrating said actions.
Meanwhile, the FRTUL has vowed to revamp activities at the local branch before the new administration can take office after May 30 elections. Korkor revealed that there is reduction in transportation fares, between Ganta to Monrovia from L$1,250 to L$1000. Fares have also been considerably decreased for commercial vehicles linking towns and cities within Nimba County.