As we get deeper into this discussion it should be clear that this is not a personal issue. We need to be practical in decision making and deal with reality. Escaping into fantasy and clutching at emotional straws wont solve the issues we face. There is much more to come on this issue but going forward, we need a younger, dynamic group of leaders to lead us out of this wilderness.
The leadership of APNUAFC must resign immediately
I open with the last paragraph from where we left off last time. There are many reasons which will become obvious if you continue to pay attention, why this discussion is public and open for all to see. Again let me stress that as we get deeper into this discussion it should be clear that this is not a personal issue. I’ve already been bombarded with angry messages from persons who are still emotionally charged and hurt from the fall of APNUAFC, and as I mentioned before it was a spectacular fall. But there were crack beginning to show in the facade since 2015.
This was missed by many as they were still caught up in the euphoria of removing the knee of the PPP banditos from our necks. We were breathing again, some for the very first time.
The fact there was an infusion of former military men and a few into the political fray, there was the usual baying from the PPP kennels that Guyana was now a military dictatorship and other silly noises. The criminal elements of the PPP who do most of the talking are in no position to speak on what is and isnt a military dictatorship.
Guyana’s much vaunted ‘Army’ is a military machine on paper. This is no slight against the Army as we like to call it, it has contributed a great deal to Guyana but what we have is not an Army. The official name is the Guyana Defence Force.
The military men who were part of the ruling coalition had the GDF in common, but no one can point to any military doctrine or fragments of any doctrine that guided the actions of these men. There was no common frame of reference that guided the coalition either militarily or politically. The leaders may have had this belief in their head, but I have searched far and wide to identify it and could not. And this is not to say the non military personnel had an opposing view or ideology. They were all shaped by the same system and fed off each other.
There were factions and factions within factions in the Coalition. Each pushing its own agenda which at times collided with each other. Some of these agendas were pursued with good intentions, and things were accomplished. However we are not here to itemise the highlights.
Others agendas had hussle and ineptitude written all over them. The pay raise comes to mind, which we will deal with as well in the future.
In short, while populated by former military, the Coalition lacked discipline. This lack of discipline was reflected in the confusion and chaos in which they went about tackling the major problems facing the country. Another demon plaguing the coalition is more psychological.
In order to come across as fair, a lot of Afro Guyanese are always preoccupied with what East Indians especially will say about their actions. This fear has induced a form of paralysis into many of these leaders and I doubt most would ever publicly acknowledge this. In private conversation they mention this without mentioning it. So doing anything for Afro Guyanese has to be thought of, studied, analysed, discussed, studied, dissected and scrutinised from all angles.
East Indians like Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are also paralysed to some degree by this. They were under constant assault in the most crude form, reminding them that they’ve sold out East Indians by joining up with ‘Blackman!’ Cause on the rare occasions when they go into the villages and mandirs they are attacked so they too walk a tight rope.
And here in lies the insanity of Guyana politics. Afro Guyanese were beaten down, discriminated, robbed, excluded and attacked for decades by racist policies, if any group needed some extra governmental assistance it would be this one. However, this fear drove the coalition to the point where Afro Guyanese communities, businesses and individuals were neglected and out of this fear the Ministry of Social Cohesion was born. (I have written extensively about this nonsense ministry, this from November 2016 social cohesion lunacy & the negroe quest for everlasting love in Guyana note the part where I said if they wont a second term)
The two biggest problems facing Guyana in 2015 and which still troubles it are; lack of standards and order. The two are intertwined and the first agenda of the Coalition should’ve been tacking this. You cannot build a society without standards and a disorderly population. The process of fixing some of these issues were tackled and some progress was made, but again without a guiding doctrine, things lacked coherency and in some cases soon fell apart.
In terms of standards, there is no sector in Guyana that operates at the basic industry minimum found internationally. This has come back to haunt the junior capitalists and husslers of the private sector commission and others. Their lawless and carefree approach to standards has been laid bare by the oil and gas sector. Many of the jobs and opportunities have gone to foreigners with most of them playing minor roles behind the scenes under the guise of local content. For years they they lived by the mantra we doan need all dem tings in Guyana and there was no forward planning. Why is the University of Guyana now fighting up with an oil and gas program when you signed contracts with Exxon since 1999?
As elections 2015 drew nearer there were many senior persons in the APNUAFC camp who were still not convinced that electoral victory was possible. They were getting closer and controlled Parliament, but in the back of many minds, doubts were still there as to whether victory was possible.
In the last days of the Ramotar misadministration, senior men in APNUAFC were in frantic negotiation with the current head of state, who was a leading PPP bagman, and others to cut deals as we were headed to elections. I among other Afro Guyanese were approached to write ‘projects’ as the government was ‘sharing out money to Black people.’ This was a crude attempt to buy us off with crumbs.
I found this whole scheme questionable and suspect since the man who was going to be doing the sharing of the money was an APNUAFC member of Parliament. If you know anything about Guyana politics you know that opposition members have no budget to share out anything. I dont know if anyone got money from the scheme. I was asking so many questions the messenger grew frustrated with me and went on about his merry way back to his bosses.
APNUAFC marched into the elections with much pomp and bravado. The rallies were mega concerts. The supporters felt their time had come and the leaders were eager to at least present the image that they too believed so. Everyone shouted It is time, even the ones who didnt believe it. The crescendo of these rallies was when an APNUAFC man took the microphone and belted out Jail them! or something about jobs and opportunities.
What we were witnessing was APNUAFC marching to elections with the idea firmly planted in their head that this was a war. But nothing could be further from the truth. Elections 2015 was simply a skirmish in the war against the crime and lawlessness of the PPP.
Having won this skirmish, the leaders assumed the war in their head was over. This confusion may have been the earliest cracks to appear in the facade. Having won their war, APNUAFC leadership made fatal another mistake, they went on a social cohesion offensive. In many ministries and agencies, enemy combatants were left in positions of power and influence. With a wink and waving of the finger, APNUAFC announced to the nation, we have been victorious in battle, everyone behave and we will live happily after.
After a few months passed and the enemy forces realise no lash to head was coming for their sins, they jumped out of their foxholes and began to undermine the government from the inside.
Persons who questioned the new social cohesion agenda were soon labelled enemies and many, yours truly included, were harassed, investigated and tossed aside. We made the fatal mistake of offending those chosen by God. Afterall, Moses did part the red sea and David slew Goliath.
We cant cover every error they made, but we can look at some broad themes which all combined led to their eventual downfall.
The confusion of wars and skirmishes led to another fatal miscalculation. APNUAFC leaders were operating as if political power lasted forever (we’ll touch on this concept a bit more later as it was common for them to remind you that big things were in store come second term).
Given the wretched nature of the PPP, they should have won a few elections easily by simply serving the people, but they soon went off track and some started to serve themselves and ignore the people in a most obscene fashion. Some were fast becoming mirroring the ones we despised.
As we await the appointments to Parliament, the leaders leaders of APNUAFC have three options: resign, be overthrown or be ignored going forward. A few will go but many will try to hang on. Whether internally there’s enough fight in the young cadre to overthrow their leaders time will tell. The the third options has already attracted a sizable following as former supporters look to the future with fear and apprehension wondering and dreaming about what could’ve been.