Janet Jagan made a terrible mistake when she selected Bharrat Jagdeo ahead of Moses Nagamootoo for President. It was an autocratic decision from a woman familiar with autocracy. Despite Nagamootoo’s immense popularity amongst the rank and file membership, Janet Jagan played dictator by pushing a rank unknown in Jagdeo onto PPP members and supporters ahead of a man who was well-loved by the party’s membership.
Janet Jagan felt she would easily control and manipulate Jagdeo, which would maintain her dominant power playing position within the PPP. She managed to do so for a few years before her deteriorating health checkmated her.
I genuinely believe Janet Jagan pushed Jagdeo into the presidency to spite Nagamootoo. Nagamootoo was a threat to the internal dictatorship Janet Jagan ran if he was selected. Janet Jagan also spited Cheddi Jagan who saw Nagamootoo as leadership material.
Nagamootoo was always a confident and resolute man. He did not sneak around when it came to his intentions. He made it known that he was interested in the presidency. That confidence stemmed from his knowledge that the majority of PPP supporters and members backed him and would vote for him to become President in 1999.
But Nagamootoo did something that no one dared to do in the Janet Jagan internal PPP dictatorship; state his intent to become anything. It was the dictator, Janet Jagan, who decided who became what, when, why, where and how. It was an offence for anyone to express free will in Janet Jagan’s PPP.
Despite Nagamootoo’s overwhelming popularity amongst PPP members, Janet Jagan resented him by showing him who was boss by appointing a neophyte in Jagdeo. Nagamootoo’s aspirations and quest for power within the PPP in 1999, before Jagdeo became President, was rooted in the fact and his knowledge that he had the majority of support amongst PPP members and supporters.
I do not believe that Moses Nagamootoo would have sought the PPP presidency if he knew he did not have the support from the majority of the party. How could anyone fault a man for seeking the top job when the majority of the party backs him to get that job?
Janet Jagan’s quest for power, which gave us Bharrat Jagdeo, was rooted in her belief that she owned the PPP, that the PPP was her toy and she was its Forbes Burnham.
Nagamootoo had popular support when he wanted to be President. Jagdeo had no support when Janet Jagan handed him absolute power. It explains why he has no sense of responsibility to the nation and to its working class poor, which comprise the bulk of the PPP membership. It explains why he created a system of inequality that punishes the poor and rewards the well-connected rich and powerful and the lucky few.
It explains his ineptitude on the backbone of Berbice and Guyana–the sugar industry. Nagamootoo had a duty to act appropriately in the presidency because the majority of PPP members and supporters who backed him demanded it. Jagdeo who was handed the presidency on a platter with no hard work in the trenches never knew this sense of duty and answerability to PPP members and supporters.
It is no wonder that he treats PPP members like garbage. No wonder why he played a key role in suspending the PPP general congress due this year where PPP members could have spoken out. Giving power to a man who does not command the genuine support of the party and has no piety to them is to enable a tyrant.
Nagamootoo had every right to the presidency ahead of Jagdeo. If he was upset and bitter about it, he had a right to be because he had the full backing of the PPP membership. He had the people on his side. He was no different from Cheddi being denied for 28 years despite his backing by the people.
He had paid his dues, wanted to help the working class and knew he was answerable to his party members, unlike Jagdeo. He was damn right to be vex about Janet Jagan and those who still sit in power within the PPP bulldozing him with totalitarianism when the democracy of popular support among PPP members backed him.
Moses Nagamootoo has every right to be mad for it was an act of dictatorship that gave power to a man who has led this country down a terrible 11-year path of elected dictatorship, banditry, corruption, cost of living nightmares and the destruction of our peaceful way of life.
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