Veteran Reggae artiste Buju Banton says he’s not in favor of the Government of Jamacia’s decision to fund the salaries of staff at the embattled Stocks and Securities Limited company currently under Temporary Management by the Financial Services Commission.
Last week, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke said the government has had to step in to pay the salaries of staff amounting to $15 million for August. The minister has not categorically denied or confirmed that the government will be paying their salaries for the foreseeable future, but many Jamaicans, including the Opposition Leader Mark Golding, called on the government to share the rationale for the decision since the company was not in liquidation but rather temporary management and should be allowed to pay its workers.
The company’s directors have not been arrested, but more damning findings last week reveal that dozens of other victims add to Usain Bolt and others who lost millions of dollars from an alleged theft at the company between 2012-2022.
Several of the victims have sued the company and its directors to prevent the company from Winding Up, which would stop the directors from selling off assets and servicing whatever debt it can.
Among those who are calling for Jamaicans to rebuff the government’s latest actions is Buju Banton, who said he wanted Jamaicans to “strap” their boots up and stop being quiet.
“Our Minister of Finance a tell the people of Jamaica say a private name SSL weh rob up and tief up how much money from people, all Usain Bolt and dem guys dem. Them want the Jamaican people now to go back and pay this private company for the money fi di money weh dem friend invest inna and tief and laugh up. Mi want know how long them ago take Jamaican people for fool and how long unnu ago sit down and make dem sh*t pan unu. Unu affi wake up enuh because dem people don’t care about I-and-I,” Buju Banton said in a video shared on Instagram.
According to Buju, the people need economic and political freedom as he lamented that the state of the country is concerning as 400 teachers recently resigned.
The artiste said that the government might be involved in a conspiracy to replace teachers with computers- “so this ah generate money for the rich and rich and poor people just a suffer so.”
The artiste added that other artistes and well-thinking Jamaicans must step up on the frontline to call things out because many wrong things are happening that are affecting the poor and vulnerable.
“Stay vigilant mi people nuh man and make we get up and lace up we boot. Can’t take it no more,” Buju said.
Coming back to the issue of SSL, the artiste questioned why the government felt it was prudent to use taxpayers’ money to dig out the affluent from their financial problems.
“The Jamaican people we inna problem, we inna deep sh*t, unu nuh smell it?… the Jamaican future must be determined by good Jamaicans, firm Jamaicans, the future of this nation is at hand and it’s being squandered and our resources are being plundered and the wealth of this nation is being misappropriated and the people of this nation are suffering and crime is on the rise and it’s so terrible. Those who sit at the top dem have the most bodyguards, dem surround themselves with the most guns, with the most of everything than the common man,” he added.
The artiste says that only one set of people in Jamaica is making it while the others are suffering.
“We need great people fi stand up…we have had enough of criminal politicians, of people enriching themselves from this nation while the people live in abject squalor,” he said, adding that even the police were extorting everyday Jamaicans because they were not being paid properly.