Home News Breaking News: Violence Erupts in Freetown as Police and Okada Riders Fight

Breaking News: Violence Erupts in Freetown as Police and Okada Riders Fight

by Mohamed Gandoh Jalloh
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There has been a report that there is ongoing fighting between The Sierra Leone Police and Okada Riders in the Central to West part of Freetown. 

The Sierra Leone Police in collaboration with Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority has started an operation to decongest the Central Business District (CBD) area of Freetown by removing Okada riders in the area. 

A news release published by the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority on April 22nd, 2021, reported that Okada riders violently entered their headquarters at Kissy road and damaged several office equipment’s, and took motorbikes that were already seized by SLRSA. 

Videos and images have been shared on multiple social media platforms depicting the level of violent unrest that has been happening around the capital of Sierra Leone. Furthermore, there have been reports of unconfirmed deaths of a police officer and a staff of the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) around the Main Motor road axis in the West part of Freetown. There is no clear substantial evidence surrounding the unconfirmed deaths of the two people mentioned above. 

It has also been reported that several businesses have closed down due to the ongoing fight between the different parties mentioned above, also public commercial vehicles have been seen detouring the main routes between the CBD area and the Western part of Freetown to avoid damages to their properties. The ongoing situation has hugely affected pedestrians who are being interrupted due to high police presence on the street and the firing of tear gas. 

There has been a recent trend of police brutality against citizens in Freetown. Recently, there was a video on social media of a police officer violently beating a female student at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) who was protesting against the college administration in relation to unpublished grades for graduation. Another example of the police using excessive force was at the Bintumani International Conference when a fight broke out between parliamentarians, the police were seen spraying pepper spray on the Members of Parliament during this incident. And just last week a police officer shot a man at Hastings over a land dispute.

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