I am sure that when Moses Nagamootoo was penning his Sunday Chronicle column (yesterday’s date), he had no clue that Lincoln Lewis’s column for the same day in a different newspaper would have some harsh words for him, Nagamootoo.
When Lincoln decided to do his Kaieteur News Sunday piece for the same day, I’m sure he did not know that Moses would have been reflecting on the wrongs the PPP did to him.
The juxtaposition of the two items is intriguing. Moses, on the one hand, is reflecting on the injustices done to him, and on the other, Lincoln is accusing Moses of an act of nastiness towards him. So is it that men and women change as a matter of science or changing times transform them from that which they were?
Let’s quote Moses from his Chronicle pedestal, “In my case, having emerged at the Top Two with the highest number of votes at the 1998 congress, a simple majority of 18 members voted against me. I was removed from the Executive Committee, after being continuously a member for 20 years.
“I had openly denounced my exclusion as “Stalinist”. I was a strong advocate for talks and rapprochement between Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, which resulted in a rearguard rump inside the party crudely rigging the PYO elections in 1976 in an effort to oust (others) and myself.
“I was foremost in my advocacy to broaden the shoulders of the party to avoid one-man dictatorship and to cleanse the party of reliance on unacceptable practices. But the quest for personal power had become insatiable, and it would continue to devour some of the finest intellectuals and progressive leaders this country has produced. In the post-Jagan PPP, political life could be cruel, brutal and short!”
Let’s quote Lincoln from his Kaieteur News base, “And this brings me to the point of Freddie Kissoon’s question to me about speaking to the Prime Minister on the Guyana Chronicle’s decision to discontinue my column. I said to Freddie, I’ll have nothing to tell Moses Nagamootoo whenever I see him. My position has a twofold thinking- 1) Moses is the subject Minister of Chronicle and he would have been party to the decision and; 2) were he thinking differently, he has within his power, the authority to rescind the decision. I cannot be bothered to encourage what should be discouraged in those who offer themselves for leadership or ought to know better.”
These are harsh words for Nagamootoo. For three reasons, the Guyanese people would find them more that just curious. First Moses Nagamootoo and Lincoln Lewis would have been comrades working together closely from the days of the reign of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham right up to the 2015 election results. Second, Moses paints himself in his piece yesterday and in his Chronicle commentary the week before, as a victim of the PPP’s enduring totalitarian approach to politics and power.
Third, the quote from Lincoln above threatens the legacy of Moses and puts pressure on him to explain how he could suffer such intolerance under the PPP when he was an outspoken leader yet show the same culture and attitude by removing Lewis from the Chronicle for being open and outspoken.
Let me clear up a grey area that may arise from the above words. It is Lincoln that is unambiguously saying that Moses was a party to the decision to drop his, (Lincoln’s) writings in the Sunday Chronicle. Because of whom Lewis is, the Leader of the AFC, the Minister of the Presidency and the President himself have rejected any suggestion that separately they were involved in the decision or made the decision.
Strangely, Nagamootoo as the subject Minister has not commented at all. I think one can safely say that because of the nature of the decision and the implications and consequences, AFC leader, Trotman, Minister Joe Harmon and the President felt they had an obligation to speak about their respective non-role or non-participation in the Chronicle’s action. Surely, whoever made the final call or the only call to drop Lewis and David Hinds from the Chronicle, the subject Minister should issue a statement either of clarification or denial.
Now that Lincoln has accused Nagamootoo of being party to the Chronicle’s edict, one would like to hear or see the reaction of David Hinds. David told me he would have a mouthful to say to Nagamootoo if and when he sees him. I published that comment from David in one of my columns two Sundays ago. Let’s end with a question to Moses. Are you still the same person who believes in democracy and free speech?
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