A few days ago, at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, in his usual cuss- down- market style, President, Bharrat Jagdeo delivered a mouthful of venalities against Attorney-At-Law Nigel Hughes.
According to news reports, Jagdeo stopped just short of implicating Attorney Hughes in the 2003 murder of Buxtonian Brian Hamilton but did say that he suspects the attorney was present at the time of the killing. Mr. Hughes responded and closed his response with a profound expression of pride in his ancestry.
Days after that response, Presidential Advisor on Community Development, Mr. Odinga Lumumba wrote in your letter column seeking clarification on the Attorney- At- Law personal expression of pride in his ancestry. How funny.
Any advisor on community development, who is worth his salt, would have asked the President to clarify venalities expressed against an eminent lawyer of African descent, who is a member of the Guyanese community. One would have thought that, in all good sense, this Presidential Advisor would have advised the president to publicly clarify his utterances to ease perceived rising political tensions in communities during this election season. Instead, Mr. Lumumba writes to ask Mr. Hughesfor clarification on expressions of pride in his ancestry.
He is more concerned with personal expressions of gratitude rather than the substance of utterance that attempts to impugn the character of a member of the legal system in this country. But Lumumba cannot advise the president to clarify or even stop this commonplace behavior because he benefits from the largess of the president and the PPP/C. This would no doubt affect his sense of objectivity with any matter involving the president or the PPP/C. Instead of writing the president, he writes the Attorney- At- Law. O the hypocrisy and ironies that bedevil Guyana’s political landscape.
He is quite right to get what he can from them. After all, they are sharing up the national resources of this country among themselves and cronies. Look at the disproportional land distribution system. Look at the way contracts are awarded for different construction works and other businesses. Look at the diplomatic corps. Even their own members are talking about their corruption, mismanagement, nepotism and greediness. Sincere and genuine members of the party cannot stand these vices. They are there for everyone to see. Citizens will be the judge of what is really going on in this country and how people are cheated out of the wealth of their own country.
Their personal and national development is being hindered. It must stop.
One other thing, President Jagdeo said: “I (Jagdeo) appoint senior counsel…He will never be a Senior Counsel once I am President and I don’t know whether Donald Ramotar will ever give him because he is a drug dealers’ Lawyer” Implicit in that statement is those who Jagdeo favours gets to be appointed senior counsel; those who are disliked by him are dammed to remain where they are in the system.
It is no longer about merit and hard work, but about political handouts and political patronage. This immediately calls into question the integrity of the legal system and the fundamentals of human rights in this country. The single- most determinant in achieving the status of senior counsel in Guyana is “I (Jagdeo) appoint senior counsel. Nothing else.
It was a direct and unfortunate admission, by the highest office of this country, that the judiciary is controlled and manipulated by politics. That statement has all kinds of implications for fairness and justice, human rights, democracy and the future development of Guyana. Therefore, people can rightly conclude justice is being dispensed or not being dispensed at the behest of the government and not necessarily by the independent and impartial thinking and judgements of the courts. Who then can trust the court of Guyana?
In this period of globalization, characterized by easy access to information including information on Wiki leaks, citizens will judge their leaders based on what they know – the truth; not by what they are told by them; by the experiences they have had; not by political gimmicks and antics; by their present quality of life; not by promises and empty party manifestoes and by what the see their leaders do; not by what they expect them to do.
Attacking personalities has never worked. Rather dealing with key issues that affect the quality of life of citizens gets the attention of those who are desirous of seeing progress and development. All Guyanese have been awakening by the great clamor for change. They are ready to make that change so necessary to advance the interest of the people of this country.
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