Building on our success and reputation
The other day my daughter sent me $100 through one of the many Foreign Exchange Bureaus in the country. One can receive remittances from almost every district headquarter town these days. InFreetownthere are many outlets so that it will no longer be necessary for someone who lives in Kissy or Lumley to have to travel all the way to centralFreetownto collect their remittance. When I collected the $100, which my daughter had made sure was paid in U S dollars, I asked the Bureau agent how manyLeonesthat would earn? I rejoiced when he told me that it would be Le 443,000; what a lot of money I thought had suddenly come into my possession, that is until I decided to immediately top up the fuel in my car with four gallons, oops! I mean, with eighteen litres of diesel at Le 4,500 per litre. By the time I purchased a couple more essential items, the Leone equivalent of the $100 had practically vanished into thin air.
I had thought I would be able to purchase a bag of rice as well, but that had to wait for another remittance. What with the price of rice still around Le 180,000 for a 50 kg bag, I just could not let rice be included into the bargain that day. And yet we had recently received 2,000 metric tons of rice as a grant from our brothers and sisters inGuinea, (but they still occupy Yenga!) not to mention the 20,000 metric tons which was supposed to be on the high sea. With that quantity of rice being pumped into the market, thanks to Sheka Tarawalie, the price would have come down immediately.
Under this government the ordinary housewife goes to King Jimmy or Dove Cot markets or elsewhere wondering what she should leave out of her daily essentials. Under this benevolent government which throws money around ‘fiti fata’ as if it was a Yoruba wedding, life has become a struggle for most.
The other day the children of my niece who died recently reminded me that their school fees per term had been raised to Le 90,000 basic. I assume that almost every reader of the Puawui column has a school going kid; I will therefore not bother to list the additional financial burden which all added up, is making education a privilege and not a right under the APC, just as it was on another occasion. And some one from theUSAactually wrote in one of the pro APC tabloids how under the previous SLPP government of President Tejan-Kabbah everything was out of reach of the ordinary man and woman. I invite our American praise singer to come out make the comparison in his own village and see for himself the kind of reception he would receive. W e must press these points home and not be deceived by the loud praises being heaped on the APC leadership.
Believe me, in 1967 Abu Lakkoh was sitting on the bonnet of Sir Albert Margai’s official Mercedes Benz car as it drove along the main street of Mabguraka. We who were around those days can recall how many votes the SLPP acquired in Tonkolili at the time. O yes, Musa Tarawali’s 30 thousand strong Kamajor force that he had promised President Ernest Bai Koroma were still in Pujehun when Lamin Feika retained the Parliamentary seat in a bye election in that constituency. That will be repeated even as Moujueh Kakikai went to Mattru Jong recently to participate in a reunion of Kamajors from the Bonthe district.
I have written before and I am doing so again. The eyes of our people are wide open today and no one will take them for suckers anymore. They are always prepared to receive the extravagant handouts at bye elections and around the capital city. It is their money obtained in manners fair or foul; they will continue to receive it and still vote for the Torkpoi. There will be no need for a big rally to put our message across; it will be most effective when delivered to households and to small gatherings where genuine questions would asked rather than those planted to APC propaganda agents.
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