Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 November 2021:
President Julius Maada Bio was yesterday heckled and humiliated by hundreds of school children in Kono, where the president was delivering a speech about the progress he says his government is making across the country, including his Free Quality Education programme.
President Bio could be seen to be visibly shocked at the response of the children shouting – “we want light – we want rice”; others were shouting – ” light nor dae, rice don dear” – in reference to the acute shortage of food, water and electricity in the country, especially in towns and cities such as Kono in the east of the country.
Since winning elections in 2018, there has been a significant drop in standard of living of most Sierra Leoneans as income falls and prices rise.
Although the government is blaming the Covid pandemic and its impact on the economy for rising prices, critics of the president say that reckless spending and rampant corruption are the root causes of the economic woes most Sierra Leoneans are facing.
Few days ago, a video on social media showed the son of the president dancing around and playing with lots of cash in his hands, which many in Sierra Leone say makes a mockery of the millions of poor suffering children in the country who go without sufficient food every single day of the week. And now school children are fighting back.
You can watch the school children heckling the president here:
Policy Analyst and commentator – Mahmoud Tim Kargbo said: “The people are so tired with the unfulfilled promises of this government. An establishment that’s set up to exploit the suffering majority will never succeed in governance. Tejan Kabba (RIP) succeeded in bringing this country together after a very nasty war that brought all economic activities in the land to a halt because he rallied all nationals behind his cause irrespective of their tribes, regions or other affiliations.
“This isn’t what we are seeing from the selected few that surrounds Bio. They are determined to make money for themselves and live luxurious life styles at the expense of the suffering majority.”