I have always spoken my mind and faced but never feared the consequences. I got several text messages, phone calls and emails expressing dismay and shock about what I revealed about Ralph Ramkarran in my Tuesday column. My immediate reaction was; were these people in a coma all these years?
I wrote several commentaries about the true colours of Ramkarran over a long period of time. One person in the diaspora that I am very fond of suggested to me that in the current vortex of politics where Jagdeo wants to stage a comeback if I should not be more strategic in how I approach sensitive topics. He doesn’t think my column would help third parties in the upcoming elections.
I replied with an extensive journey into my experience in fighting authoritarian rule. I told him that when Burnham and the PNC were in power, I met persons in the PPP, WPA and civil society that were confronting Burnham and the PNC but many of them were more unfit to hold power than Burnham himself.
When Cheddi and Janet Jagan, Jagdeo and Ramotar were in power, I met personalities in the PNC, AFC, WPA and civil society that were worst than many of the leaders in the PPP’s hierarchy and who would have been more obnoxious in office than these PPP personalities.
Remember the biblical saying that not all those who are chosen will enter the kingdom of God. Not all those around us that oppose dictatorship are saints and angels. They are dictators themselves. I cite the name Ramon (Raymond) Gaskin to my friend. I have known Gaskin since I was 18 years old.
I know how terrible the rule of Jagdeo was but Gaskin who opposed Jagdeo and now opposes the incompetence of the APNU+AFC regime is not someone I would not even for a fleeting moment elevate above Jagdeo and all the key players in the APNU+AFC.
Gaskin is naturally and instinctively a more deep-seated authoritarian personality than Jagdeo. My opinion is that he would be far more undemocratic than Jagdeo. When he announced in November 2017 that he was forming a political party, my column for Monday, November 13, 2017 was “Gaskin may get three votes.”
Let me repeat emphasis; I would choose to vote for Bharrat Jagdeo, Donald Ramotar and all the current leaders in the PNC and AFC on any given day to be president of my country than Ramon Gaskin.
Interestingly, when at the forum of the National Library, Gaskin announced the formation of his political party, at the head table was my brother, Lincoln Lewis, who spoke at the event. Gaskin on waxing lyrical about his new party, used the word, “we.”
So I suppose Lincoln will be part of the new outfit. Lincoln is my friend but I put country above family, friends and party so I am telling him upfront, he cannot get my vote. Honestly, do the Guyanese people deserve Gaskin, Ramkarran and Henry Jeffrey? A piece is forthcoming on Henry Jeffrey.
If you are very young, you need to know more about Jeffrey’s political history before you make the fatal mistake and vote for him in the forthcoming election when his party ANUG is expected to field candidates.
Guyanese need to tell Henry that there is a hole in the bucket. If you are too young to understand that bucket reference, then, you are too young to know who Harry Belafonte is. He has a song recorded about fifty years ago about a man named Henry and the hole in his bucket. For more on Gaskin see my column of Tuesday, September 6, 2016, “Ramon/Raymond Gaskin and the hypocrisy of Guyana.”
I guess with our young population, many will not know the history of people like Gaskin (when I was a Stabroek News columnist I did a commentary on Gaskin – that was way back in 1989), Henry Jeffrey, Ralph Ramkarran etc. For example, half the population was not born in 1992 so they would not know the government had its own airline, Guyana Airways and in 1992, Ramkarran became the chairman of the board.
Our young people would not know that GAC ran into financial troubles and was disbanded by the Janet Jagan presidency. That remains one of the saddest and one of the most unwise decisions since, our government made since Independence.
When the election campaign begins, and Ramkarran and Jeffrey hold their town hall meetings, I plan to ask some questions of both men. I am not a religious person but I will be praying to God that they don’t sue me for libel after the meetings.
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