“Actually, this President has set the bar so low for his Ministers and party officials when it comes to ethical standards that one has to be the most gifted limbo dancer to fall below these standards.”- David Patterson
Recent pronouncements by President Donald Ramotar on issues that came out of the recorded conversation between Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and a Kaieteur News reporter have resulted in a drawn conclusion that Guyana is being run at the lowest standards.
General Secretary of the Alliance For Change (AFC), David Patterson, yesterday told Kaieteur News that he had no other choice but to arrive at that conclusion because the stance being taken by the President is strongly suggesting that he is condoning Nandlall’s actions.
The President held a press conference last Friday and addressed his recent prorogation of Parliament.
After he finished answering questions on that issue, the President entertained questions on one of the most prominent issues facing Guyana—the infamous Nandlall recording.
The recording revealed many things that Nandlall would have preferred to stay out of the public domain. These included his knowledge of a planned attack on Kaieteur News during which “innocent” lives would have been taken. The recording also revealed Nandlall’s misuse of public funds as well as his apparent degrading of women.
Nandlall was heard saying “I use some money from the government and Glenn mek an issue of it. I pay back deh f**king money long before he even mek (it an) issue.”
The AG later declared that the money was released to him by Cabinet for a medical emergency.
The money used by Nandlall amounted to $6M.
During the press conference on Friday, President Ramotar was asked numerous questions on the money Nandlall expended on the “medical emergency” which he admitted had to do with his wife.
But the President said that the reason Nandlall used public money is private matter. He said that he does not like to get into people’s business about their health and that it is unethical for him to let the public know how the money was spent. Ramotar also asked reporters to forget about the issue.
In an invited comment yesterday, Patterson deemed Ramotar’s statements nonsensical. He said that the misuse of public funds can never be regarded as a private matter. The General Secretary said, “This is the typical PPP (People’s Progressive Party) way of doing things. They use the treasury as their private bank account, hence the reason they think that they are not accountable.”
“Now look at it logically” Patterson said. “There is a Minister on record admitting that he used this money and that he paid it back…It is illogical for you to pay back an entitlement, so something about this entire deal is not above board.”
Addressing the President’s request that the media forget about the issue, Patterson said that the PPP has a long history of its Ministers going astray but always wants to gloss it over and hope that the nation forgets.
Patterson noted that the President has now gone an extra mile to come out and ask the media, and by extension the nation, to forget about his Minister’s transgressions.
The politician questioned, “Where is (Presidential Advisor) Gail Teixeira now?”
He said that Teixeira is usually one of the first PPP members to jump up and say what is conventional and what is a disgrace.
“She should now say what is the conventional thing to do when a nation is faced with a matter like this,” said Patterson. He said, “The conventional thing to do is to have the Minister resign for the goodwill of the country…When the protector of the constitution knows about a planned criminal act and does not disclose this information to the relevant authority, what more hope can we have in him?”
The AFC official said that it is worrying that the President finds this sort of behaviour from one of his Ministers acceptable and has the nerve to ask that the nation to forget about it.
He reminded that it was President Ramotar who was presented with an audited report stating that there was fraud at NCN but has done nothing for three years.
“It goes to show that he (the President) has low standards in running the country,” said Patterson.
He continued, “Actually, this President has set the bar so low when it comes to ethical standards for his Ministers and party officials that one has to be the most gifted limbo dancer to fall below these standards.”
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