Liberians Stocking up Rice on Eve of Protest


At the populated Red-light Market, a reporter observed many people buying food items, particularly rice, the stable food for Liberians.

Monrovia – On the eve of the much talked-about June 7th “Save the State” protest, organized by the Council of Patriots (COP), some Liberians unsure how the day will end spent much of Thursday, stocking up food and other supplies. “I cannot remember a day that I ever sold bags of rice like what I am doing today,” Jimmy Doe, a rice dealer in Red-light market told FrontPageAfrica.

J.H. Webster Clayeh [email protected]

At the populated Red-light Market, a reporter observed many people buying food items, particularly rice, the stable food for Liberians.
Doe said as early as 8:30am people in their numbers trooped in at his business center to buy bags of rice. “People just think tomorrow we will be fighting war. I’ve never seen people buying bags of rice like this before”, said Doe.

Despite the huge purchase of bags of rice, Doe says his rice price remain the same. He sells the 25kg bag of rice $USD13.50 or 1,700 Liberian Dollar.

Liberians lining up to purchase rice on eve of protest at the busy Red Light District.

Mohammed Kabba, another rice dealer runs Kabba Business Center. He says the bags of rice in his store is almost finished as the business day came to a close Thursday. “I think reason for the high purchase of bags of rice is that many people fear that the protest tomorrow will end up into chaos,” Kabba said.

The businessman added: “But we are not praying for that, we hope that everything ends up peacefully.”

Mary Kollie, 53, who showed up mid-afternoon to buy a bag of rice, told FrontPage Africa that from past protests, she is worried about the June 7th protest.

Madam Kollie says she has a large family, so she was taking home three bags of rice. “I have been in this country for a long time. I was here during the 1979 rice riot. Protest can start peacefully but it cannot end peacefully,” she said.

Added Madam Kollie: “In this country, we have the saying that in time of peace, it’s good that you prepare for war and that is what I am doing.”
James Flomo, a motorbike rider had a passenger carrying two bags of rice on his motorbike. Flomo says since the morning hours, most of his passengers are taking bags of rice with them. “You have not seen anything yet, more than 15 persons I carried today so, so, rice they are carrying home. This June 7th protest has put fears in many people. We just pray that it ends peaceful.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Col. Patrick Sudue, speaking at the regular Thursday news briefing at the Ministry of Information, declared that the police and other security personnel will ensure that no one will be harassed.

“Come June 7th, LNP will ensure that the business community, the International community and even our visiting guests, no one will be harassed. The LNP will ply the various streets to maintain law and order during the day of the protest.”