Kabs Kanu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 May 2023:
Sierra Leoneans should give President Maada Bio the boot at the ballot box on June 24, 2023. Bio is not fit to rule human beings anywhere. He should be kicked out into the dustbins of history to make way for a government that will repair the mess he has created in Sierra Leone and bring back relief to the people.
Below is a list compiled by Sierra Leoneans and circulated on social media about how prices of food and basic commodities have escalated in Sierra Leone since 2018 when Britain and some countries, in the interest of regime change, imposed Maada Bio and the SLPP on Sierra Leone to punish former President Ernest Koroma and the APC for their obsession with China, a country that had become one of Sierra Leone’s topmost trade, investment and development partners.
The former British High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Guy Warrington, vowed on his manhood that APC will never return to power in Sierra Leone. He also vowed that only over his dead body will the APC see power again, hence they have decided to establish a very tight partnership with China.
This geopolitical powerplay that never, ever benefit the poor people of any country, has cost Sierra Leoneans everything.
The President Maada Bio that they imposed on us has destroyed Sierra Leone in a manner nobody ever imagined. He has destroyed all the institutions of governance and accountability, including the judiciary, parliament, civil society, media, women’s movements and the ministries, departments and agencies ( MDAs ) which he has bloated with his tribesmen and women.
Additionally, President Bio has committed egregious and horrible human rights abuses, characterized by extrajudicial and politically motivated killings, and the unnecessary harassment of opponents or people demonstrating their rights to protest against the misrule of his government.
President Bio also destroyed the Sierra Leone currency, the Leone, through a failed policy of redenomination that has caused horrendous inflation and drop in the value of the currency. The US Dollar is now equivalent to almost two million Leones, making it very difficult for industries, importers, wholesalers and other businesspeople to import foods and basic necessities.
The hopelessly inept Bank Governor appointed by Bio, who spearheaded the redenomination, has fled the country and is now seen daily on TIKTOK, dancing his shameful heart away in the Bahamas, where he has retreated with his own slice of the loot.
The exchange rate of the Leone to the dollar was Le 750, 000 to U.S. $100 in 2018 when the APC left power. Today, it is Le 2, 340,000 under President Bio.
Correspondingly, living expenses and cost of foods have gone through the roof because of the corruption and disastrous economic policies of the failed and oppressive Maada Bio government. Things have become very expensive in Sierra Leone, so expensive that you wonder how people manage to eat and survive in the country.
When Maada Bio came to power in 2018, a bag of rice cost Le 200,000 but in just five years of Bio’s rule, a bag of rice is now Le 870,000. With basic monthly salaries hovering around Le 250,000, how does President Bio expect the people to buy just one bag of rice to feed their families?
A bag of sugar that was Le 350,000 when President Bio was imposed on Sierra Leone is now Le1,230,000
Look at the other price variations between 2018 and 2023:
ONE LITRE OF FUEL Le6000 in 2018 – now Le 22,000
ONE BOLIED EGG Le1000 in 2018 – now Le5,000
ONE RUBBER BARREL OF PALM OIL Le170,000 in 2018 – now Le740,000
ONE CUP OF GARRI Le500 in 2018 – now Le3,000
ONE RUBBER COOKING OIL Le200,000 in 2018 – now Le670,000
ONE PLASTIC SACHET OF WATER Le2000 in 2018 – now Le7,000 in 2023
These are just a few of the frightening price increases people have seen in Sierra Leone since President Bio came to power in 2018.
Sierra Leoneans have become very frustrated. People are seen walking on the street talking to themselves because of the harsh and brutish economic life in the country, coupled with the oppression, suppression, human rights abuses, blatant tribalism, and the President’s complete lack of interest in the welfare of the people.
Meanwhile, President Bio is busy politicking, mouthing shameless lies and impossible promises, buying over vulnerable members of the opposition and setting in place mechanisms to rig the forthcoming elections.
So, the question is, how does President Bio plan to win the elections on June 24? The answer indeed is through ballot rigging, but he and the Sierra Leonean people will clash if he succeeds in his nebulous plans.