Rep. Foko Threatens Mass Protest

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Montserrado County District #9 Representative, Frank Saah Foko, has vowed to lead a mass protest to prevent government officials from going to work if the price of rice in Liberia continues to rise. On Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at the Executive Mansion, Presidential Press Secretary Kula Fofana addressed journalists, clarifying that the government has not approved any increase in the price of Indian parboiled rice.  This statement comes in response to a previous announcement by the Ministry of Commerce, which had declared on Monday, May 20, 2024, that the price of Indian parboiled rice would rise from US$16.50 to US$18.50 per bag due to a tax imposed by the Indian government. Fofana explained that following a meeting between President Joseph Boakai and rice importers, the government is now working out modalities to maintain the current price of Indian parboiled rice in the market. She reassured the public that the administration is committed to ensuring the affordability of this staple food. Despite this assurance, Representative Foko, in an interview with reporters at his Capitol Building office on Tuesday, expressed his determination to mobilize a mass protest.  The Congress for Democratic Change lawmaker threatened to stop President Boakai and other government officials from performing their duties until the issue of rice prices was addressed decisively. “As a lawmaker representing the people, the rising cost of rice is a significant concern. I will not stand by while our citizens suffer due to increased prices,” Foko declared.  “If the President and his administration do not act swiftly to resolve this matter, I will lead a protest to block government operations.” This pronouncement comes amid conflicting reports from the market.  Despite the government’s claim of no price increase, a visit by our reporter to the Duala Market revealed that a bag of rice is being sold for between US$18.50 and US$19.00.  This discrepancy has fueled public frustration and skepticism about the government’s handling of the situation. Some citizens have criticized Representative Foko’s stance, accusing him of hypocrisy.  They pointed out that he remained silent during similar price increases under the previous CDC administration.  “Where was Representative Foko when the price of rice went up last time? This sudden concern seems more political than genuine,” remarked a market vendor. By: Jeremiah Mulbah /Lib Latest News231

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