By: Stephen Fellajuah
Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia has vowed to stage mass rally and protest action against the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government if President George M. Weah doesn’t take seize of the rice crisis, Liberia’s staple food.
The group termed it as callous and lethargic tendency of President Weah’s government toward the crisis which they said is not just a signal of administrative ineptitude but a gross demonstration of how the Liberian public administration has degenerated into the insolvency of carelessness and imbalances.
“President Weah has once again showed our people how incompetent and incapable his government is in providing leadership’’ they noted.
According to the students, the current Liberian state is in disorder because of poor statecraft with incompetence human agencies and riff-raffs of the highest order that lack the discipline, thought and requisite knowledge to administer leadership in a third-world nation like Liberia.
They expressed that Liberians are currently buying a bag of 25kg rice for four thousand five hundred Liberian dollars while a cup of rice is sold for one fifty Liberian dollars, something which the group described as the ‘’ first of its kind’’ in the country history.
SUP pointed out that the scarcity of and heightened increment in the price of rice is not only generating hardship for the people but has also condemned them to a shameful situation of sleeping on the streets in long queues and jumping over fences and combating over who to be served first by the wholesalers.
‘’SUP mandates the government of Liberia through the relevant authorities to act accordingly as soon as possible in taking seizure of the rice crisis and rollout possible remedies to the situation or else, we will rally the people of Liberia as we have begun into a consistent militant revolutionary action until President Weah can act.
If President Weah cannot act in the soonest possible time, there will be a repeat of the rice riot. we will go to the marketplaces, communities, towns, and villages to rally our people and bring them out in the street to demand the government to act’’ they stated.
The students continued that it has been over three weeks since the situation of rice shortage evolved the country and the inimitable increment in the price of the commodity hit the country yet, the government of President Weah has ‘failed’ to give attention to the situation to properly remedy the crisis but maintain that there is enough rice in the country.
While addressing a major press conference yesterday, October 4, 2022 on the main campus of the UL, the movement Chairman Mustapha N. Kanneh said that rice which is Liberia staple food is a commodity with a history in the country which led to social political eruption because of past government inability to exercise decisive leadership.
“The rice riot of April 14, 1979 is a classic historical account that any serious government should learn from. Again, we are seeing another rice crisis that has evolved in such a short time and the Weah regime has been unable to provide any feasible solution so far. Since the regime has played just lip service to this plight, the crisis is pushing the people along the line of forceful mass action with the government paying little or no heedfulness to the situation’’ Chairman Kanneh emphasized.
Meanwhile, also speaking in an interview on October 4, 2022, the Commander in-Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighter of Liberia, Emmanuel Gonquoi termed the Ministry of information statement defending that there is enough rice in the country as shameful, disgusting, ridiculous and unrealistic.
He stressed that no government plays with the day-to-day economic survivability of its citizens mostly for Liberia that have record of war, conflict about it staple food which is a serious political commodity.
“When you play with the economic survivability of the people, you embrace crisis, conflict. You cannot say we have food and then you put taskforce on the street. However, the EFFL has always been in the vanguard for advocating for Liberians and we stand with SUP in their quest to end this situation through protest. We support the protest 100% and we will make sure that our people need are met’’, Gonquoi declared.