By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Scores of Truck drivers who converged on Thursday at the Banjul Lorry Park expressed their dissatisfaction with the intervention of the Police in their work, which they regard as interference. Two fully loaded double cabin pickups carrying Riot PIU officers in full gears were at the scene.
The drivers say that all lorries are expected to queue before loading merchandise, and the rule is ‘first come first serve’. Musa Sumareh President of the Gambia Truckers Association (GTA), said five lorry owners refused to join the queue and they insisted that they will not follow the rules. “Three of them after a thorough negotiation with us agreed to comply,” but two of them refused to follow the rules and claim that they will not negotiate.
This Mr. Sumareh said prompted them to stop their lorries from loading for almost few days now until Thursday evening when the PIU came to forcefully ask the drivers to leave the said vehicles to load without following the queue. He alleged that the police towed a vehicle and took it to the mobile traffic police unit in Kanifing.
Musa Ceesay Vice President of the GTA, said they really don’t want any authority to ‘interfere’ with the way they work. He said their policy will help all drivers to share the cake, or benefit and he added it will avoid few people monopolising their business leaving others Jobless.
“Most of those who do not want to join the queue will want to have more than 3 trips in a month, while others cannot even get a single trip”, he lamented.
He said that prior to their enforcement of the policy they have engaged various relevant ministries including the trade to seek for their blessings, which he said was done.
He stressed that they are Gambians and this where they get our survival.
Omar Touray Gambia Transport Union President said the authorities should be there to empower Gambians trying to engage in a positive venture. He said if authorities are letting others by-pass the queue this will give upperhand to a few while others will not be given equal access. He said “If all are accepting it why are not these two people?”
Efforts were made to talk to Alieu Secka and Marr Secka, both of who left the scene and couldn’t be reached. Also attempts were made to reach the Police Spokesperson for comments but he couldn’t be reached.
The Gambia Truckers Association are supervising both the Banjul Lorry Park that can house more than 100 trucks and Abuko which has a bigger space.