Red Light Market Riot Results in Hardship on Residents



Effects of the recent riot which involved motorcyclists and officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) are being acutely felt by residents and marketers in the Paynesville Red Light area.

The incident has created a severe shortage of commercial transport since the Pem-Pem riders were restricted to the outskirts of Paynesville.

The suspension of the cyclists has created serious commuting problems as most communities they service are not accessible by motor vehicles.

According to some of the affected residents, they have to get up early to walk long distances before reaching their destinations or the motor vehicle routes to their destinations.

This situation, they claim, has exposed them to criminals who frequently lurk in most of the communities they have to pass through on their way to connect with commercial vehicles taking them to their destinations.

Affected residents are appealing to the government and the authorities concerned to speed up the investigation into what led to the pem-pem riot so that normalcy can return to their daily routines.

Madam Mary B. Thomas, in an interview, told the Daily Observer that one possible root cause of the recent incident could be the alleged extortion of money from motorcyclists by some of the LNP officers.

“I think, many of the motorcyclists have become frustrated because of the way traffic police officers extort money from even the marketers as well as the cyclists,” Madam Thomas asserted.

The constant seizure of street vendors’ goods could also be one of the reasons.

This newspaper also learned that traffic police officers assigned in the disputed areas have over the years joined “daily savings clubs” where they are obligated to pay LD1000, and LD2000 per week.

“We are responsible to pay their “daily susu,” Cyclist Tamba claimed.

The LNP is yet to comment on this latest allegation, but a spokesman promised to investigate the allegations.



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