Purdue Fosters Motorists-LNP Relations

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A local Pen-Pen Network has been able to bring the community, Pen-Pen riders (bike riders) and officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) together with the aim of coordinating crime fighting activities, reduce further tension, and conduct violence-free elections in 2017.

To foster a relationship between the Pen-Pen riders, the police and the community, the Network organized a-four day tournament that saw the police walking away with the trophy in the Barnesville Community, outside Monrovia.

The head of the Network, Grace Yeanay, said the initiative was meant to foster a relationship between the community, pen-pen riders and the LNP as Liberia prepares for the 2017 elections.

She said the tournament organizers are also working with the police to interact with the riders and the community on a daily basis so that their relationship can be enhanced during and after the 2017 elections.

She said the program provided different kinds of motivational messages for motorcyclists to help transform their minds from engaging in activities that have the propensity for violence.

“We also educated the riders on the need to dress better before going on traffic. That is to wear shoes and other protective shields,” she said.

The Pen-Pen Peace Network was established in 2013, although the riders did not understand the project’s objectives.

Yeanay continued: “We noticed that Pen-Pen riders used to be very unconcerned, but with the education coupled with our involvement while they ply their passengers around, they are now more organized to the extent that 65 to 75 percent of the bike riders are now wearing shoes and putting on proper attire.”

The Pen-Pen Peace Network is a group of 12 local leaders and citizens including pen-pen drivers, market women, customers, police officers and Transport Ministry representatives.

The Pen-Pen Peace Network was established in 2013 by the PURDUE Peace Project to help reduce the likelihood of violence among pen-pen drivers, police and community members as some of the riders are now contributing to the informal sector of the country’s economy.

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