AFC is spent force with lit­tle rel­e­vance - PPP

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

a des­per­ate and hasty at­tempt to ap­pear rel­e­vant to the large num­ber of Guyanese in the di­as­pora, who are in the coun­try for cricket, the Al­liance For Change (AFC) held a press con­fer­ence last Thurs­day, putting on dis­play, sev­eral of its lead­ers. The pro­nounce­ments which em­anated from this high level AFC team were at best, hyp­o­crit­i­cal and con­tra­dic­tory and at worst, com­i­cal.

Min­is­ter Do­minic Gaskin, an Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber of the AFC, made the bold and bizarre as­ser­tion that AFC Ex­ec­u­tives “are not brib­able”. Guyanese know a dif­fer­ent re­al­ity. They know about the wan­ton and wide- spread cor­rup­tion that has en­gulfed the en­tire Gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing the AFC. They know of the al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion re­gard­ing gun li­cences in the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity; they know of the scan­dalous GPL me­ter con­tract, where the con­tract was handed to a con­trac­tor without any ex­pe­ri­ence and whose con­tract price was a bil­lion dol­lars more than the next com­peti­tor; they know of the mil­lion dol­lar tax write off given to AFC fi­nancier, Robert Badal; they know of the multi-mil­lion dol­lars phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals con­tracts, which are given to AFC fi­nancier, IPA, without any pub­lic pro­cure­ment; they know of the se­cret wind farm project, be­ing un­der­taken by an AFC fi­nancier, whom the AFC ac­knowl­edged to have pur­chase the land upon which the AFC head­quar­ters is now lo­cated in Kitty, Ge­orge­town; they know of the ¾ bil­lion dol­lars of con­tracts, which are be­ing handed out by and be­tween the Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Min­istry and the Min­istry of Pub­lic works in re­la­tion to the Camp Street and Lusig­nan Pris­ons; they know of the $14 mil­lion per month drugs bond rental con­tract for a house in Charlestown, which a Cabi­net sub­com­mit­tee headed by AFC leader, Raphael Trot­man and AFC “El­der States­man”, Moses Nag­amootoo, cov­ered up and val­i­dated. We can give many more ex­am­ples, but we believe the point is made.

We note also the pro­nounce­ment by AFC Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber, David Patterson, that his party has be­gun to cam­paign for the 2018 Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions (LGE). We ask the Guyanese peo­ple to note, there­fore, that if the AFC are now seen in their com­mu­ni­ties, they must know that they are only there to cam­paign for the 2018 LGE. We also note, the AFC’s spine­less si­lence on Pres­i­dent Granger’s con­tin­u­ous attempts to rail­road the con­sti­tu­tion­ally pre­scribed process of ap­point­ing a Chair­man for the Guyana Elec­tions Com­mis­sion (GECOM).

The re­al­ity is that the AFC is a spent force and re­ally has very lit­tle rel­e­vance any longer in elec­toral pol­i­tics. APNU is well aware of this re­al­ity. This is the pre­cise rea­son why the AFC did not con­test the 2016 LGE. The Guyanese peo­ple have quickly seen through their false prom­ises to the sugar in­dus­try and rice farm­ers; their con­tra­dic­tory po­si­tion on the park­ing me­ter and VAT on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion, both of which they sup­ported at the level of Cabi­net but sub­se­quently and hyp­o­crit­i­cally con­vey­ing the im­pres­sion that they are pres­sur­ing the Gov­ern­ment to change its po­si­tions on these two is­sues.

The pub­lic has also seen their du­plic­i­tous vac­il­la­tions on the need for dis­clo­sure on im­por­tant con­tracts en­tered into by the Gov­ern­ment of Guyana. While in Op­po­si­tion, they were loud­est in the calls for pub­lic dis­clo­sures of such doc­u­ments. Now in Gov­ern­ment, they are the chief pro­tag­o­nists in de­fence of keep­ing such con­tract away from the pop­u­la­tion’s scru­tiny.

Last but not least, the Guyanese pub­lic un­der­stands very well that the “review” of the Cum­mings­burg Ac­cord, which the AFC is clam­or­ing for, is a recog­ni­tion that Prime Min­is­ter Moses Nag­amootoo has no port­fo­lio, power or in­flu­ence in the Gov­ern­ment what­so­ever, and is a laugh­ing-stock in Caribbean pol­i­tics. When re­spected jour­nal­ist, Rickey Singh, wrote in the Guyana Chronicle that Moses Nag­amootoo is the most pow­er­less Prime Min­is­ter in the his­tory of the English-speak­ing Caribbean, Nag­amootoo im­me­di­ately fired him. The peo­ple are also aware that this “ribbon cut­ting” Prime Min­is­ter’s port­fo­lio, suf­fered another cut, if this is even pos­si­ble, when Pres­i­dent David Granger ap­pointed Dawn Hast­ings to be re­spon­si­ble for “Pub­lic Af­fairs”.

This is one of the neb­u­lous func­tions which Nag­amootoo prided him­self as be­ing as­signed to per­form. Now even this, has been taken from him. It is for these rea­sons that the pop­u­la­tion views his noisy siren and ac­com­pa­ny­ing en­tourage, as quite a nui­sance and an ir­ri­tant to pubic peace and or­der. (PPP State­ment)

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