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Page added on July 25, 2011

Ramadan and the profiteers

Ramadan and the profiteers thumbnail

The holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic rituals of fasting and alms giving is near. By all indication, some unscrupulous shylocks in the name of traders must be rejoicing in their quiet moments in fervent anticipation of the coming event.

Unlike some Muslim countries, notably the Arab region where business people, in ambience to the Almighty, scale down prices of essential commodities during the month of Ramadan, here in Sierra Leone it becomes a field day for profiteering.

Indeed, this callous and satanic attitude is not limited to our own brother and sister traders alone but include foreign businessmen and women, particularly Lebanese and Indian merchants who do so with absolute impunity.

In fact, starting this week, which is the eve of fasting, prices of basic items especially those of food stuffs will unreasonably shoot up. At the centre of this criminal enterprise are the Lebanese and Indian shopkeepers from whom the bulk of petty traders buy their goods.

This is a recurring feature in our socio-economic landscape. It is like a dog-eat-dog situation where some callous people fleece the innocent during the holiest month of the calendar year.

The sad irony here is that most of the profiteers are also Muslims who would equally be fasting during the holy month.

The unfortunate aspect of this development is the inability of successive governments to act decisively against what has become a culture of exploitation. It is like past and present governments were a party to the corruption. Otherwise something tangible must have been done to discourage the nefarious practice, either in the form of legislation or some civil action.

Many a time people have asked why is it that traders deliberately increase prices of their goods during the month of Ramadan. But it appears no answers have been forthcoming to put an end to the practice.

What a shame to a country considered as one of the most God-fearing in the world! It’s high time something is done to stop this ungodly act, lest God continues to curse this nation.

May Allah change our bad ways, Amen!

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