Thursday, March 3, 2011

Diaspora Tiff Tiff-Culled from Awoko Newspaper


I am sure the President would be disappointed as most home based Sierra Leoneans are by the performance of what should have been our more enlightened compatriots who have so popularly called themselves diasporans and who we call locally Jay Cees meaning “Just cam (come)”.
I say the President must be disappointed because after he was elected into office he sort the services of these Jay Cees, enticed them to come home and when they did he placated them with all sorts of goodies much to the annoyance of the home based.

Most of these Jay Cees came with airs; speaking through their noses and strutting around like Roman conquerors who had come to Lord over the spoils of a conquered nation. They celebrated the APC victory as if they were the ones who actually voted and when their contributions were questioned they would say they provided dollars and pounds sterling for the then opposition APC and this helped the party win the elections. Thereafter they were coming back home to be compensated for their support and their contributions to the 2007 APC campaign fund.
Well the president has been conducting a policy of compensation. All those who seemingly “helped” him win are compensated and true to speak we have seen the diasporans being compensated lots and lots. Whereas home based Sierra Leoneans had to make do with meagre salaries of 500 or 700 thousand or a million leones, the diasporans were being paid in thousands of dollars. Take the now scrapped office of diaspora activities, attitudinal change and 50th anniversary committee to name a few. All of the jay Cees in these institutions were paid in thousands of dollars per month whilst the home based looked on. Can you imagine taking home 12 to 15 million leones for doing sweet nothing? Will you grumble about cost of living? What is even more heart rending is that most of these people never earned those sums of money in their entire life abroad. Can you imagine holding 18 thousand dollars as per diem for a trip to the US as those in the 50th committee awarded themselves? This is money that all those who boast that they come from USA have never ever held in their hands before. Believe me if you hold that amount of money in your hands in the US it means you are selling drugs or doing something illegal. Yet they come here and collect that in one go.

We had believed or rather thought before now that jay Cees were accomplished Sierra Leoneans living abroad who were coming to contribute to the development of the country which is a good thing in itself. Sadly however the impression now is that they have come to rapaciously milk the system with such venom that the home based can only look on with shock and astonishment. Perhaps this is because the majority of them who have come are charlatans and crooks with dubious degrees and trumped up CV’s. As one Jay Cee wrote recently that he came across a door man in London masquerading here as an environmental expert.

Now the list of them falling under the hammer of the anti Corruption Commission is ever growing. It started with the then Minister of Health, now attitudinal change boss and fiftieth anniversary boss and executive secretary are now on the hook. How many more will have to fall before our esteemed president realises that it most unfair on home based Sierra Leoneans who have toiled so much for this nation to progress to be left out while those who ran away and have been helping to build other peoples country are the ones who are now being hugely compensated over their heads. Suppose the home based now adopt the stance that the jay Cees must now do all the work since they are collecting the fat salaries what would happen? Would that not lead to a subverting of the system? Indeed one would not be surprised if the so called Jay Cees find it hard to woe the cooperation of the locals.

Perhaps this whole diaspora stuff needs to be looked at properly. Firstly there needs to be a proper due diligence done on these diasporans to find out whether they were not just taxi drivers and garbage cleaners or psychiatric nurses parading as academic doctors who murder the queen’s English in their press releases.
If there is not a re-think soon then there is every likelihood that the simmering revulsion may soon get to the surface. Lonta!

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