I say in all sincerity, I cannot give David Granger a pass mark for his presidency which started in May 2015. As someone who has spent the greater part of his life doing academic analyses of his country, I conclude that Mr. Granger hardly possess leadership qualities. He is definitely outstanding in terms of financial integrity as a leader of a country, but maybe that is the only one of several leadership qualities he embodies. Financial honesty alone cannot make for a successful leader.
After studying Granger for forty months as President of a very, complex, difficult and hard country, my thesis is that he has failed in the barest of ways of moving the nation away from the psychological rut that it has found itself in since the unhappy reign of Forbes Burnham. I honestly think David Granger is yet to find his feet, and indications are that he will not do so before 2020. If he rules after 2020, maybe possibilities will open up for both him and the nation. For now, our President is yet to stamp his leadership skills and visionary thinking on Guyana.
For a forthcoming academic conference, I will undertake an analysis of Granger’s Presidential evolution. I will argue that Granger was asked to lead the PNC because of confusion in the PNC at that time. He agreed to, but never believed in his wildest imagination that he would lead the PNC to electoral victory. In other words, Granger was not interested in politics or the presidency. For this reason, I believe if he wins in 2020, after two years, Guyana will have another President from the PNC. It could very well be Volda Lawrence or the PNC will call an emergency meeting and select another person, but I think Mr. Granger will not go on to beyond 2023.
Today, at his third press conference in his forty months as President, he will be unsettled. He is a reluctant politician, so he will never be comfortable with the media. Of course, if he was an outstanding analyst, he would know Guyana has one of the poorest journalistic communities in the entire world, that does no research on people, places and events, is not familiar with the complexities of the power establishment, is not in the least knowledgeable about contemporary Guyanese history – which is a vital requirement in journalism – and is extremely poor in journalistic investigation.
I am still laughing at why Granger allowed himself to let the media pursue him to demand that he hold frequent press conferences. If Granger had competent advisors who have studied the media landscape in Guyana, they would have told him to go out and bat on the media wicket as often as possible, and don’t be afraid of the doosra or the googly, as those balls will not be bowled because the bowlers can’t bowl them.
So, this morning all eyes are on our bowlers, because we all agreed that the President after three years must hold frequent press meetings and we demanded that he must do so. This morning will be his third time at the crease. What will our journalists bowl to him? Will it be long hops or turning deliveries? I don’t know what questions our media will throw at him. But here is my little contribution as a so-called coach.
Mr. Granger should be asked why after having five ministers overlooking the oil and gas portfolio and the early decision to advertise the post of the head of the Department of Energy, he arrogated to himself the privilege of selecting a person without a strong background in energy. Secondly, why as President, he chose not to compel his Attorney-General to obey the court order and activate immediately the Judicial Review Act, rather than having the ugly situation where activation was set for January 2019 but the state has reversed that and the Act is now in force?
Thirdly, Mr. Granger must be pointedly asked if he is happy with the ethnic imbalance of the party he leads, which at the recent congressional elections saw only one Indian winning a position in the executive – Amna Ally. The other Indian, Ronald Bulkan, had no competitor for the post of treasurer. Fourthly, did the Minister of Public Security convey to him after the interview with the candidates, his choice of the acting Commissioner, David Ramnarine, to be confirmed?
Fifthly, looking back at his description of African Guyanese always wanting to have a “raise” rather than seeking to get involved in productive employment, did he think he made a mistake in his analysis of the political economy of African Guyanese.
Essequibo is we own, can we say the same about the oil?
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