Vishnu Bisram is a friend of mine but he does have this tendency to believe that he knows a lot about almost everything.
In his letter, “It’s not a sin for anyone to aspire to high office!” (Kaieteur News, 10/30/10) he states, “Lionel, as a PPP insider, is in a better position to analyse the controversial issue of succession and I don’t have information to dispute or confirm his claims. But I did have brief conversations with some PPP stalwarts about succession and Joey.”
Yet he proceeds to argue against the very claims based on a series of superficial conversations and a few unlinked events, even though he should know better. I do know that Joey was being considered for leadership succession, because I was privy to some of these discussions (to which Bisram was not).
I have also had conversations with Joey (one of them lasting three hours one night) and been in situations where Joey had privately expressed views about historical events in Guyana that would shock the hell of the average Guyanese were they to become privy to such information. In any case I would like to join others who have vouched for Lionel Peters.
How do you know when someone is telling the truth? When guns come blazing every which way. And how have the guns come out blazing against Lionel Peters!
I have known Lionel for more years than I can count and this I say unreservedly: Lionel is neither a liar nor an opportunist. Few were ever as selflessly or as passionately committed to the PPP as Lionel and few was ever treated as badly by the party as he was.
Certainly someone of the calibre of Hydar Ali pales in comparison to Lionel where selfless contribution to the PPP is concerned. In fact, Hydar is one of the princes of the current PPP regime, who has been kicked up to his level of incompetency.
As Freddie Kissoon has pointed out so many times, these princes and princesses have been bequeathed the nation by the kings and queens in the PPP, even though most of them never ever lifted a finger to foster the work of the PPP, PYO or WPO, especially during its days in the wilderness.
But then this trend started with President Jagdeo who himself was granted a scholarship to Moscow because he had a godfather in the PPP and not because he had earned it. But this gentleman had ambitions of which the PPP elite were not aware when they anointed him in the triumvirate.
Had they spoken to anyone of his batch mates from Patrice Lumumba University, they would have known that he returned to Guyana with two aims in mind, and that is to become president of Guyana and minimize the ‘old heads’ in the party. And boy how well he succeeded in both!
On the other hand it was Lionel Peters and Lionel Peters alone who made the Civic possible. It was Lionel Peters who was most instrumental in bringing big business back to the PPP in time for the 1992 elections.
It was Lionel Peters who took on the unenviable task of organising Georgetown for the PPP in the early nineties (when no other in the PPP could have done so) and opened up the city for the PPP. It was through his instrumentation in bringing the civic into being that Cheddi Jagan was afforded the first ever opportunity able to speak to the business and professional community at a conference at Hotel Tower. I know because I was then working for the civic, which organised and underwrite this conference.
But Lionel has been daring to go where most shy away from long before the 1990s. In Berbice his home was a literal lounge for PPP and PYO leaders from around the country, whenever they were in the vicinity.
His good wife would toil for long hours preparing delicacies for them while Lionel would dig deep into his pockets to provide refreshments and beverages as they sit and socialize into the wee hours of the morning.
And in Georgetown he opened up his home and his heart for many from outside of the city whenever they visited for whatever reason. For him the party was truly family. Lionel’s passion for politics, his abiding interest in the welfare of people, his capacity to network and be persuasive, his penchant to wade into any task with both hands and feet and head and heart, his unending appetite for knowledge so as to give him multiple insights into whatever he puts his mind to are second to very few within or without the PPP.
And it is their recognition of these qualities that the PPP must certainly now be placed in a quandary. For should Lionel Peters get back into the fray of things the PPP would know, more than any others, just what he is capable of.
Politically I may not always agree with him. But as a friend I would stand with Lionel Peters shoulder to shoulder in the most dire of situations because I have total confidence in his capacity to be there for me come what may.
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