Thursday, July 05, 2007

Home based politicians vs ‘Jay Cees’

Recently, a youth leader asked the New Citizen - how it was possible for somebody who lost elections in 1977 or 1982 and hurriedly left the country after losing the elections to come back thirty years later and claim that they have the interest of the people in their constituencies at heart.
A youth from Port Loko recently told the New Citizen that before, during and after the rebel war, they had looked forward to their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora to come home and give them some comfort and respite from the rigours of the rebel war, and to their greatest surprise, no one came.
“As the presidential and parliamentary elections of August 11 2007 are drawing nearer, people who have abandoned us for more than thirty years have resurfaced to compete with us to our disadvantage because they come with truck loads of money while we do not have money,” a youth leader said.
The complainant further said that these people have lost touch with their own relatives in their constituencies and some of them cannot even speak the local dialect which is the only medium of communication with their constituency members.
“These ‘Jay Cees’ just look like foreigners to us, they don’t how to dress, they cannot understand the language of the common man, they don’t share meals with us, they don’t even give us rides in their big cars and how can they then claim that they love us and that we should trust them with our destinies, by voting them into parliament? How can I entrust my destiny into the hands of a man who does not know me and does not care for me just because he has flown home with a few thousand dollars which he wants to lavish on electorates to win votes?” the youth asked.
Most of these ‘Jay Cees’ who want us to vote for them don’t even have houses in Sierra Leone anymore and instead reside in guesthouses, hotels and motels.
It is surprising if these people are voted into parliament to see how they would conduct the affairs of their constituencies through mobile phones.
We the electorates of Sierra Leone want the people we vote for to have homes and addresses that we know and can visit for the purposes of discussing the problems of our communities with them.
How can we discuss the problems of our constituencies in motels, guesthouses and hotels?
There is no doubt that if these ‘Jay Cees’ who want us to vote for them are serious, the first thing they should do is secure permanent addresses by building homes in the communities or constituencies they want to represent in parliament, so that each time we want to see them, we know where we can find and they too know where they too know where they can find us.
This idea of running back to Sierra Leone only to contest elections, lose the elections and run back to the safe haven of the western world should be discouraged so that we give a chance to those who live with the people, eat with the people, drink with the people, laugh with the people, cry with the people, to be the people’s representatives in parliament.
A youth who prefers to remain anonymous from Lunsar suggested that the new parliament to be elected on August 11 2007 should enact laws that would make it mandatory for all those who want to contest elections to reside in Sierra Leone ten years before the elections they wish to contest, so that they would be better known by the people in their various constituencies and the people in these communities would also know them.
This hit and run tactics of ‘Jay Cees” must be stopped in the interest of electing people who have the love of this country at heart and who will stay with the people of Sierra Leone through thick and thin.

The New Citizen Publications