KABBAH’S GOVERNMENT SHOWS HOW MUCH IT PRIZES THE LIVES OF SIERRA LEONEANS
No serious government will allow , let alone orchestrate , the carting off of hundreds of her precious citizens to a dangerous country like Iraq on a suicidal mission to work as cleaners, cooks, and labourers for a mere pittance of $175 a month. Any government which really cares for the safety of her people would have cried down the whole arrangement even if the poor souls about to put their lives in danger were paid more .After all life is far more important than money , more so in a country with strong extended family traditions like Sierra Leone, where the death of one single citizen impacts on the lives of lots of other people in the community.
That the government played a hand in seeing her citizens used as canon fodder for violent Iraqi rebel groups and U.S. bombs is another clear demonstration that the SLPP government does not have the interests of their people at heart. And just like that , Kabbah’s government has made Sierra Leone a laughing stock all over the continent , as callers to BBC African programs have demonstrated. If the government cannot provide jobs for her citizens, should it seek an escape route by pushing them into harm’s way ?
Did these doomsday recruiters of victims headed for sheer slaughter in Iraq go to other African nations ? This newspaper can wager a bet that they certainly did , but we are certain that they were cried down and probably chased out of some of those countries by the caring governments who even concealed such suicidal opportunities from their citizens. . Anybody who has been a responsible father will admit that times had come when he concealed certain opportunities from his children for their own good, for it is only a foolish father that , for instance, allows his son to undertake employment that has “Kasankey” ( Death shroud) written all over it. But was it not in Sierra Leone also that a U.S. company was allowed to dump hazarduous wastes in her waters during the Siaka Stevens era after other African nations denied the ship bearing them access to their shores ?
We do not agree with any attempt to make it seem like life is dangerous anywhere and as a result the citizens being sent to Iraq are taking the same calculated risks that others have taken seeking employment in foreign countries. Though all countries have their dangers and risks, there is no comparison whatsoever between the danger to human life in Iraq and the risks in other countries. For now, Iraq is the most dangerous country on the face of the globe. Rebel militia groups are arising every day and they and the U.S forces are engaged in daily violent skirmishes , with bombardments , rocket attacks and suicide bombings that do not only level hotels , public buildings and residential areas but leave dead bodies littering the whole place. What is more, the country is in danger of exploding into a civil war between the Shiite and Sunni muslims. The government knows too well about these dangers and that those of her citizens making the trip are embarking on a journey of no return. It should have denied its citizens the opportunity to take the offers.
It is true that the individuals making the trip are not being coersed and will bear personal responsibility for their own dangerous choices . Their action shows the desperation that citizens have been driven into in Sierra Leone .People are prepared to die seeking the U.S . dollar in a war-torn country than continue to “suck-air” in their country. But theirdecision is plain dumb and stupid. Considering the humonguous extended family responsibilities of Sierra Leoneans that exacerbate when they seek the golden fleece abroad, the Iraq sacrificial victims will take no time to learn that $175 MONTHLY abroad is as worse as not being employed back home .