6 February 2013

Liberia: Standoff - Motorcyclists Vs. Police

There is an apparent standoff between the police and motorcycle riders over last year's security imposition of a curfew on bike riders otherwise known as "Pem Pem" riders venturing into the streets after 10 p.m.

The move was taken to help reduce the alarming crime rate in the country. Community residents have since hailed the police for the move. But motorcyclists continue to complain that the action has drastically harmed their economic fortunes.

With motorcyclists vowing to defy the curfew order by last night, Police Inspector General C. Clarence Massaquoi threatened to arrest any motorcyclists that will violate the 10pm curfew regulation. The threat came after the Motor Cycle Union, during a mass meeting, ordered its members to disregard the curfew regulation.

The Motor Cycle Union of Liberia, through its Secretary General Robert Sammy, Monday ordered its members to violate the police 10 pm curfew hours.

During a briefing, Col. Massaquoi stated that "It is unfortunate and the LNP would like to advice, warn owners and riders of motor cycles not to adhere to this instruction because the police will not hesitate to arrest any violators and forward them to court for prosecution in keeping with law."

He revealed that a special response team has been constituted to deal decisively with incidents of mob violence resulting from the enforcement of this restriction.

"We want it to be clear that the police will not tolerate any mob by anyone especially motorcyclists as a result of one of their member's involvement in a road motor accident with a vehicle some time last year, " he pointed out.

The Police Inspector General argued that "this is a country of laws and the police will not allow anyone to abuse the rights of others."

However, he advised motorcycle owners and riders not to engage in any unlawful acts that might threaten the safety of the people and the security of the state or they will face the full weight of the law.

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