My life: Comparing the Jagdeo and Ramotar impact
The editor of this newspaper wrote the following in his Sunday column two Sundays ago; “The elections of 2011 came and went and all eyes were now on the new kid on the block, Donald Ramotar. My publisher Glenn Lall, was one of the people who expected great things from Ramotar. Just recently he said that he was disillusioned. He was not alone.”
I was one of those persons who would disagree with Mr. Lall on his predictions about the Ramotar presidency. Lall knew the wider Ramotar family over the long years and it was both logical and emotional for him to expect great things from Ramotar. On the other hand, what I knew of Ramotar came from both practical involvement with politics and my philosophical analysis of important actors in Guyanese politics. Mr. Lall would tell you; I did not share his optimism about Ramotar.
When I read those words from Adam, I smiled. I confess openly now what I murmured to myself on reading what Adam wrote. I said; “Frederick, you always get the last laugh.” I will ask you not to treat this as open boasting or chauvinist ranting. It is not. I simply knew from my long years of involvement in politics, and from what I knew of Ramotar, that he was not going to make an ounce of difference.
Over the years, I happened to know a person who was (and still is) very close to Ramotar. It was clear to me from that person’s assessment of Ramotar (not with even an inch of malice or bad-mouthing, but a very frank evaluation of the man’s conceptualizations and approaches to thing) that he was not made of leadership qualities. The love that person has for Ramotar did not prevent an honest appraisal of his politics as the General Secretary of the PPP and one of its top leaders. Mr. Ramotar subsequently became President of Guyana.
Without even an infinitesimal amount of personal bias, I say it was the wrong moment for Guyana, because in my honest opinion he is the wrong man for the presidency. Donald Ramotar is an ordinary politician without leadership qualities and without any willingness to want to change the course of history.
It is interesting to note that during one of the negotiation sessions over the Linden crisis, Mr. Ramotar chose to meet with the Toshaos and left sensitive decisions for Rohee, Teixeira, Luncheon and Ashni Singh to make. Few leaders faced with a crisis of State power as with the Linden situation would have done that.
Given his natural limitations, Mr. Ramotar never thought that he should be involved in the Linden discourse every step along the way. At the Freudian level, he is content to let other PPP leaders chart the course for Guyana. He is simply not interested in stamping his image and his brand on the Guyana presidency. Mr. Ramotar lives within the Jagdeo narrative.
This explains why his Cabinet and wider State appointments are all people nurtured by Jagdeo. His latest advisor, Mr. Keith Burrowes, is a person whose stature and importance expanded under Jagdeo. To put it simply – Mr. Ramotar will remain a figure-head until he becomes a footnote in history.
I wonder if Mr. Lall ever asked himself why Jagdeo so rooted for Ramotar to become president, and in fact virtually handed Mr. Ramotar the presidential slot as the elections approached.
Speaking for myself, the facts are graphic and emblazoned brightly on the political landscape of Guyana. Under his twelve-year reign, my contract at UG was never terminated. It was under President Ramotar.
A miasmic substance was thrown on me during the tenure of Jagdeo, but I almost lost my life on the stroke of midnight on April 16, 2012, when I was attacked after I spoke at a WPA meeting and left the People’s Parliament.
My attacker kept viciously hitting me in my head. He wanted to hurt me badly. If not stopped by the attendees of the People’s Parliament, he could have killed me. He openly jumped into an expensive black vehicle whose licence plates were given to the police. The President at the time was and still is Donald Ramotar.
My wife worked under the twelve-year-old Jagdeo presidency at GO-Invest. It was only in the election season that she was hounded out. If she was not victimized then she would have been working under a Ramotar presidency. Surely, it cannot escape even the logic of a schoolboy that the impending election had something to do with her victimization. Did Donald have anything to do with her removal?