Dear Madam President,
We, a group of concerned citizens of the Republic of Liberia, having noticed the hardship our people are going through, write to ask you to do something about it. And when we talk about YOU doing something, we have in mind you and your government, and not necessarily YOU as an individual.
Things are hard, Pre-si-dent Sirleaf. The people are suffering. Because some of them reason that your government will do little or nothing to help them, they have just chosen to take their hardship as a normal way of life in Liberia. Pre-si-dent Sirleaf, things are very hard in this country.
Even if the position you find yourself in incapacitates you to see what we are going through, we believe you can hear about the too much suffering. But if you can neither hear about nor see the unbearable hardship and suffering majority of us are experiencing, then we really now understand how insensitive our leaders have been to us.
And, frankly, Pre-si-dent Sirleaf, some of us are beginning to think and feel that you are doing nothing to help us. But if you were seriously and sincerely doing something to help reduce our suffering, why would the problems be getting worse, instead of getting better? Madam Pre-si-dent, this country is rough. This city is hard. We are feeling it big time.
Take the exchange rate, for example. When we wrote you Part I of our letter on this subject, the rate was LD74. When we wrote Part 2, it was LD74.50. When we wrote Part 3, it was LD75. Now, as we write this Part 4, the rate is LD76. Look at this, Madam Pre-si-dent!
Isn’t this an unbearably frustrating reality before us the common people, especially considering the impact such rapid increases have on the prices of such essential goods and services as rice (the country’s staple food), gas, fuel, kerosene, transportation, sugar, oil, char coal, butter, milk, flour, bread, corn meal, and so forth?
We are dying, Madam Pre-si-dent. The prices of goods and services are climbing, and there is no indication that they will come down anytime soon. This is too bad for a country whose people just came out of war. It is too bad for a country whose citizens – majority of them, that is – are unemployed, and the take-home pay of most of those employed cannot take them home.
About two weeks ago, the Special Rice was sold for US$40.00; it’s now US$43 in some places. A bag of flour was US$47; it is now about US$53. A bag of sugar was US$62; it is now US$64 or US$65. The three-gallon Argo oil container was LD1, 300.00; now, it is about LD1, 500.00. The five-gallon container was about LD2, 375; now, it is about LD2, 600. A bag of onion was about LD540; it is now LD700.
How we wish you felt what we are feeling. How we wish you experienced what we are experiencing. How we wish you were buying rice by cup. How we wish you were going to the gas station to buy a gallon or two for your generator or your car. How we wish you were not receiving free gas for your cars. How we wish you …
Anyway, due to the lack of space and time, we, the group of concerned citizens mentioned earlier, will end our third letter here for now; however, we wish to inform you that we will come with Letter Five soon.
Yours very sincerely,