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Vincy passport nice, nice, nice

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My aunt-Enna does just flare up anytime ah see de name ‘St Vincent and The Grenadines’. Dah’s exactly way happen when ah read an article published in de August 31 edition of “Caribbean News Now.” De headlines: “New face of crime in Nigeria” said to hold St Vincent and de Grenadines passport. De article is suggesting dat one Alhaji Man-gel, a Nigerian national has been issued ah SVG passport in exchange for a cash payment of US$75,000.{{more}} Vincy Passport Nice! According to de article in Caribbean News Now, Man-gel’s CV is summed up thus: “from smuggling to adultery, multi-billionaire businessman Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal is fast building a reputation as the new face of crime in Nigeria.”

Quite frankly, we have we nuff “ new faces of crime in SVG” and could do well widout another Afro-Vincy chief. But Man-gel connect-shun has some merit, ah doh like to walk pon ah-ledge but dis man is ah-leged to own ah shady airline company wid private planes, and dis is one ah de airlines dat will fly to Argyle. Talking about Argyle, two re-lie-able persons beg me to check out on ah show down wid ah whole set ah cussing, and threatening to fire and bring in some Guy-on-knees to complete de wuk. Ah fraid dem Pit Bull foh Ralph go cuss pon Radio, so ah will investigate dat some more.

But Lie-Za refuses to believe dat Man-gel Passport story, not after PM Gone-soft done sware over and over, dat he will not sell out dis country’s party-money oops, Patrimony, no Nah-no! no Ram-us, no Dave Ames. Remember when he, de PM was accused by the BBC in 2013 of running, in effect, his own private citizenship program, dah was when British businessman Dave Ames was ah-leged (again) to have bribed Gonsalves in order to gain SVG citizenship? Up to last year our PM was adamant that his administration would not allow a citizenship by investment program (CIP) in our country. But den again, yuh must remind me who it was dat said in Par-liar-mint: “I Lie sometimes but not all de time!” Lie-Za say dat “ lie lie sometimes” foh some people is “ lie all de time.”

Still on de Passport issue however, it hurts to hear dat people wid shady credentials masquerading all over de globe floating SVG Passports. Bev Walker, our local Immigration Chief denies any hanky panky. My sympathy goes out to decent wukers like Bev and other public servants holding on to dey pride and dignity, and who will not allow demselves to be trapped in any pull-it-to-kill corrupt-shun.

But de question still being asked is how do people acquire legitimate or fraudulent Vincy Passports. Well ah few years ago dis ULP Go-venom-mint burned ah set ah passports because dey had a flaw, don’t ask me how many passports dey bun, Lie-Za say “ah truck load!” De explanation was dat these documents had ah technical fault. Yuh may want to ask me if all de faulty Passports burnt? Ah don’t know! What ah know bout Passport, is dat after de Passports were burnt, de Canadian Immigration put ah ban on us Vincies who previously were allowed to jump pon ah plane, disembark in any airport in Canada and pass thru immigration widout any question being asked. What is interesting is dat de ban was not about technical fauly Passport, but corrupt documents. Vincentians who were deported from Canada foh criminal offenses, were able to acquire a new passport new namw and ID, right hey in SVG, den re-enter Canada wid dah second passport. Talk bout corruption!

What ah could also tell yuh bout Passports, is dat last year, de Office of Audit for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines carried out an audit of the New York Consulate accounts for the period of August 2011 to August 2013. De audit came after the reports of a scandal which resulted in the recall of Deputy of the New York Consul General Edson Augustus, over an ah-ledged visa and/or passport related matters, and a side business that he was running that promised to acquire US Green Card status for Vincentians, many of whom were believed to be illegal’s in the US. All yuh repeat way ah say correctly, ah did not say dat de Deputy Consul General sold Passports legal or illegal; to anybody sinner or saint! Because ah still regard Pastah Edson Augustus as ah friend, is just dat he should ah never give up his church.

Because is every Monday night Lie-Za phone-in to cuss me foh not asking how come de Tele-pastors who does be speaking on every conceivable topic, from war to love, from Government to Politics to Elections. She said how dey would touch regularly on de Blessed Assurance which is understandable, but nothing bout Insurance which is dey next best topic, and dearest to dey heart and stomarch, dey fraid dat like how Satan fraid Holy Water. She say she anxiously looking forward for some serious commentaries from de Tele-Pastors on Clico/British American and de plight of those distressed and depressed Vincent-shuns who would have invested dey gratuity and life savings with these companies, only to hear ah man run off wid de money. Some people have been waiting foh years foh answers. But as ole people say, way ain’t come in dey breakfast plate, sure to come in dey dinner plate! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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