Diaspora Hegemony Razing Bio, SLPP
By Yusuf Moijuag
Diaspora job seekers receiving lucrative appointments back home from both presidents Ernest Bai Koroma and the current Julius Maada Bio Sierra Leone People’s Party – SLPP regimes hardly divorce from their filthy and deceitful political behaviors of slotting incompetent party members from the Diaspora to lush jobs, especially from APC and SLPP United Kingdom-Ireland, United States of America, Asia and other global chapters as pay back to their loyalists, regardless of qualification and competence as long as you have the political patronage you are assured.
Prior to the involvements of Diaspora chapters in mainstream Sierra Leonean politics, people back home were more relied on remittances from relatives in the Diaspora, whereas, it is now the reverse, as Sierra Leoneans in the UK-I, US Asia, Australia and other places are more desperate for home country jobs than ever before. Most of them had invested in political campaigns and now want benefits through presidential appointment or otherwise. And most of the ruling party Diaspora members have got their shares of job appointments.
The Diaspora factors play considerable roles in the sustenance of these two political parties if not all, as the participations of Diaspora members fund raisings to bank roll party activities though they almost always stock up their investments proceeds immediately after they assumed political offices as if they were in joint businesses partnership. Past regimes of both late president Alhaji Dr Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and former president Dr Ernest Bai Koroma called on Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora to return home and invest in their country in diverse ways, thereby contributing in the reconstruction of the process after the war.
And as a result the last government appointed Sierra Leoneans from overseas to cabinet, directorate, commissions as well as agencies, even though most of them hardly meet expectations in delivering on their various terms of references. Unfortunately for the presidency, those at State House are hiding under the canopy of the Office of the President irrespective of the absence of the right human resources the job slightly under review.
You may want to know where about the press secretary to president Bio, is he along the hall way, trying to lobbying president Bio for and on behalf of SLPP UK-I Diaspora branches. The president has indeed appointed so many SLPP Diaspora chapter members to the extent that the national chairman and leader Dr Alex Prince Harding deserted his office at the secretariat to seek job in the Office of the President but was for the first time turned down due to strategic political reasons to the executive. President Bio called party member of the SLPP to join him implement the new direction political and development agenda, though most of them cannot measure up to the expectations of their dream jobs, they end up hiring too many executive assistances to carry out their official responsibilities.
The SLPP and Mr Bio while in opposition received regular material and moral support from SLPP Diaspora branches mentioned above, so he is therefore left with no option but to pay them back with lucrative jobs and fat government contracts even if a company does not meet the specified procurement criteria, because most of these Diaspora job seekers and workers lack the appropriate capacity nor do they venture to produce authentic certificates from schools, colleges and universities they claimed to have attended in the Diaspora, but are offered jobs based on patronage.
Notwithstanding their capacity deficiencies in public and civil service jobs, they continue to lobby president Bio through the internal Diaspora hegemonic structure headed by the press secretary hoping that as long as Keks is involve they will be hired. In the Office of the President the press secretary and team are struggling to get fit on the image making job. The job of being the public face of the presidency, the most difficult job Yusuf Keketoma Sandi has ever faced in life as the press secretary secretly confessed to a closed friend.
Starting with president Bio as a highly dignified Diasporan, who spent some time in Ghana and later considerable period in the United Kingdom, where he actually planned his political strategies very well when in opposition, and my very special thanks and appreciations to Londoners for the council flat, workers and the then mayor for hosting our president in the city of London particularly when he was in opposition. To reinforce the debate further that majority of new direction regime key players are from the Diaspora, is to tell readers that deputy or vice president Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh also came in from France – US though his wife is still missing in action. Chief Minister Prof. David John Francis, the man who lacks knowledge in governance structures, procedures and processes in Sierra Leone, was brought in by president Bio from the English village of Bradford in England. That is why most of the current top government executives are not that familiar with the people especially youth on the ground thus the like Prof Francis and others scarcely relate well with the ruling party grassroots, which is really not good for the nearest future of president Bio and the SLPP.
Chief Minister Prof. Francis, Keketoma Sandi Tommy Massaquoi and other are not foreign politicians and have their various political bases and they should be seen relating very well with grassroots people and not to govern by divide and rule. Prof. Francis is quoted to have told SLPP youth who once met him for help; go to your councilors and members of parliament, don’t come to me I am not a politician and I don’t have jobs nor money to dish out to people.
Also on the long shopping list of Diaspora job seekers and workers are the personal assistance to president Bio, Tommy Massaquoi, Dr Patrick K. Muana, State Chief of Protocol, Fatmata Edna Kargbo to name the few whose job description are not explained in detail due to the controversies surrounding certain appointments and the very creation of such offices, but as long as you are in the fine notes of the press secretary, the First Lady, Mrs Bio and other clan members of the Diaspora hegemony you stand a chance to be hired by the executive. And they would say it is their time to earn such jobs, but winner takes all is not good for sustainable development neither for growing democracies.
That is why most of the foreign SLPP members now work in big public offices under the new direction retrogressive agenda; don’t know their party supporters not to think of finding them jobs, because they are not familiar with most of the suffering grassroots SLPP followers. And for their office works speaks lack of experience and proves poor performance so is the pitiable press secretary, who always issue out press releases and public service announcements flawed with multiple errors and silly mistakes.
First Lady Mrs Bio is always shuttling between Fort Thornton and presidential lodge at Hill Station for only God knows what, apparently for follow ups on pending job appointment promises to offers UK-I SLPP Diaspora chapters. Observers say she can do better at home as a wife but her enthusiasts belief she is the firmest guard to her husband as the adage goes ‘behind every successful man there is strong woman’ and Mrs. Bio is always there like the shadow of president Bio. Apart from occupying an office with no specific terms of reference, Mrs Bio is for God’s sake not the director general of human resources management office and has no business going after nurses at health facilities to place quack nurses from ruling party support bases.
The wife of president also went to 34th Military Hospital at Wilberforce and other public health facilities across the country replacing nurses with untrained and qualified nurses from south and eastern regions. The ineptitude of SLPP Diaspora job seekers in the government as well as those lobbying for jobs for me is beyond belief, for somebody who had spent all his life in the UK empowering himself to work for his choice of government, only to get onto the job then he proves incompetent, is a big shame to SLPP Diaspora members and a challenge to the president as well, as incompetent SLPP Diaspora members are killing public agencies due to downwards shift in standards of service deliveries largely caused by capacity deficiencies within so many new sectors.
In fact, the Diaspora job seeking roll call will not be fully completed if names as Jonathan Tengbeh, Minister of Water Resources, Ishmail Kebay Jr. Director General of Sierra Leone Cables, the Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone, US based university lecturer, Prof. Kaifala Kallon, Dr Alie Kabba Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Chief Innovator Directorate of Science and Innovation, David Moinina Sengeh also from the US and the Executive Director, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority David Panda. Mohamed Bubashir Massaquoi of National Civil Registration Authority, Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Patricia Lavallie from the US and Sheku Lexmond Koroma of SLEIPA who until his appointment was a junior lecturer at the East London University and have all benefited from job offers by the president as compensations from their party.
Moreover, even if home-based and Diaspora members are more SLPP than the green itself, if you are not highly favoured by movers and shakers at presidency; Mrs Bio and her strongest ally, Keketoma Sandi who offer jobs from the presidency than president Bio himself, forget it, except you are highly recommended by them before you can be assured of surviving the unemployment storm. Recently, some SLPP UK-I and US Diaspora members got jobs through the blessings of the press secretary Sandi and the First Lady, Mrs Bio. But it is an open secret that thousand of core SLPP jobless stalwarts and supporters are still hopelessly roaming the streets searching everywhere for jobs and sustainable livelihoods, while those who are lucky enough, were hired by president Bio and paid in foreign currencies, though they are remitting funds back to their families in the UK, US and other places as other sierra Leoneans continue to perish for daily survivals in deprived communities.
Take a walk to the SLPP national headquarters at Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown to see the mass sufferings of unemployed people, languishing in deprivation, rejections and above all being subjected to impose abject poverty, because they are not closely connected to powers that be thus stand no chance of benefiting so easily from the national cake under the existing dispensation.
I mean tell me how does government sincerely wants to help fix the bread and butter issues amidst persistent wirings of moneys to foreign countries by government officials. Reports are that over 60% of public service workers are dispatched almost all their earnings back to their families to settle bills and fees in the UK and US. Going forward, it will be wise enough for president Bio to diversify job creations and employment scheme opportunities through industrialization and knowledge transfer to directly target capacity building and over all development of the middle-level man power sectors to bring permanent solutions to unemployment problems, moving away from education for just to read and write.
President Bio embrace all party people, try to destroy the empire within; the Diaspora hegemony manned at presidency by press secretary Keketoma Sandi and the First Lady Mrs Bio taking into consideration the people didn’t vote your wife nor your press secretary, but actually vote Julus Maada Bio for president in the March, 2018 elections so don’t turn away your back from them now that you are a president. Don’t be selective in offering jobs to party members irrespective of political, socioeconomic, religious, regional and tribal status of supporters and starlets, as long as one has in diverse ways done his/her bits towards the successful return of the SLPP and president Bio to power as such people truly deserve compensations from you and the SLPP not the self-styled Diaspora hegemony created within to destroy the party and president Bio in the nearest future.