MORE SUFFERING IN STORE FOR SIERRA LEONEANS

By Osman Kargbo of the FORUM Newspaper

The continued night curfew being slammed on the people of Sierra Leone has become too much to contend with, especially relating to the latest one announced on Monday 2 August this year to prolong the just ended month-long curfew the nation underwent in July.

This round of night curfews has been necessitated in lieu of the escalating figures or cases of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic – the Indian Delta Variant. 

Well, much have been said and done about the recent dire episodes of the pandemic but the extension of the curfew – in the midst of other standing measures or precautions considered much reasonable – has brought another difficult situation for the people to bear. 

A lot of people interviewed by Forum newspaper have again expressed dismay and utter disappointment in the way and manner the powers that be have been handling the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially regarding the night curfews being “choked on the nation without much consideration” of the hardship and suffering the people, particularly the poor masses, are undergoing anytime a curfew is announced or instituted.

“I am a youth who sells tea and bread at night to survive, but I am presently not doing anything as a result of the night curfew,” said Umaru Deen. “I managed to go through the curfew announced last month (July) hoping that at the end of the month, I would resume my tea selling but I have been seriously disappointed since the government through NaCOVERC decided to prolong the curfew for another one month! This is driving us mad and frustrated, to the point that we don’t know what to do. They just continue to choke us with night curfews.”

Truth, it is said, will stand the test of time, and according to Agnes Tucker, a restaurant worker in Brookfields, this present curfew is rather baffling and seemingly meaningless. “I cannot really make sense of this recent night curfew announced by NaCOVERC since according to them, the cases of corona or Covid-19 infections and deaths have drastically reduced and they have in the last two to three weeks been reporting and posting less cases of Covid-19 infections. So, I can’t really understand the real rationale behind the latest curfew,” Miss Tucker retorted.

While some people believe that NaCOVERC has some good reasons for maintaining the curfew, others are of the opinion that all NaCOVERC is doing is casuistry, using logics in playing on the hearts and minds of people to do what they want in order to achieve their “premeditated plan for socio-economic gains”. 

Alfred Sillah, a teacher, says: “NaCOVERC is using clever but false reasoning to keep the nation under the arrest of curfew. This incessant curfew is causing serious hardship and suffering for the people of Sierra Leone. Many are presently unable to engage in their usual night petty businesses to earn their livelihood. Therefore, what we are experiencing as these kinds of curfew continue is economic hardship and suffering.”

Every dog is a lion at his gate so implied the response of John Kanu, a student, who says: “Let them continue to do to us what they like. For now, we are enduring the hardship they are causing for us, as they continue to keep us under curfew for no just reasons, especially now that they themselves have been announcing that the cases of COVID-19 are reducing in Sierra Leone. We will endure, but come 2023 we the people of this country will show them where power lies, as it will be our turn to vote them in or vote them out in the upcoming 2023 general and presidential elections.”

Market women and night roadside sellers or vendors who sell bread, cookery and ‘fry-fry’ on the roadsides are continually being hard-hit by these night curfews, especially the latest one slammed on the nation on the altar of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Courtesy of Cocorioko news paper

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