As stated before in several columns, I have two close friends, Raymond and Dawn Persaud, whose house is right next to the AFC head office. I visit them quite often, where mutual friends would meet as they say in common parlance to, ‘lime’.
On Thursday, my dog was lying down on the parapet outside the AFC office when one of the AFC’s important hierarchical members came over to talk. He said in the presence of AFC activist and former AFC City Councillor, Carlyle Goring, that I should let bygones be bygones and help the AFC’s election campaign because he could not see me wanting to have the PPP back in government.
I said yes, I would work with the AFC, but the AFC has to sign a legally tight document composed at my request by Nigel Hughes, agreeing to what I want if the AFC retains power. If the AFC reneges on it, then the AFC has to pay me a huge sum of compensation. He agreed and asked what I wanted.
I gave him an initial couple of demands. One was that I want to be part of the restructuring of UG to decentralise power, so that the Vice-Chancellor cannot retain the unaccountable, colossal power that office carries. I worked for UG for 26 years giving my soul and body to that institution. I have ideas about its transformation.
Secondly, I told this AFC big wig that I want a reversal of the ban on used tyres and the removal of the requirement that imported cars cannot be more than eight years old.
As I was about to continue my demands, Carlyle Goring mentioned something that led to an outbreak of anger. Goring said that after 2015, he heard that I did something to the AFC leadership that he found insulting, and that explains why after 2015, the AFC never contacted me for the use of whatever skills I had.
Goring said that at a gathering of AFC people on the very spot, one of the most trusted lieutenants of Khemraj Ramjattan told the group why the AFC has not established contact with me. He said Ramjattan told him now that the AFC is in power, Freddie Kissoon wants the AFC to come to him, but the same Freddie Kissoon used to come to Ramjattan when we were in the opposition and would ask him for favours.
I was angry. There and then, I asked Carlyle to ring Ramjattan’s aide at the ministry, Dianne Rajkumar, for me to talk to Ramjattan. I am not going to name Ramjattan’s lieutenant that said so, but I know he is very close to Ramjattan, and is indeed someone whose activism Ramjattan relies on. Those who want to know his identity can ask Goring. I am not going to get a libel writ.
I never asked Ramjattan for any favour when we were in the opposition. All the assistance Ramjattan gave me was legal, and that was his obligation to Guyanese and to the fight for justice. All those court cases were filed to oppress me. I do not consider that help as personal. It was quintessential political assistance.
I have to be stupid to want the AFC ministers I know to seek me out after 2015. Why would any human being act so stupidly? If Ramjattan told his trusted confidante that, then he owes me an apology. Also, he and the AFC leadership, which I now consider morally detestable, know not a damn thing about human psychology.
I told Mark Benschop when he interviewed me recently that after 2015, I did not consider it morally elevating to approach ministers to ask them for employment. I told Benschop that is not in my DNA. I mentioned that dignity issues have to be considered when you do such things. I never contacted any AFC or APNU leader after 2015. None of them contacted me. This has been so since 2015.
The AFC and PNC leaders had a right to correct the wrongs done to me by the PPP’s semi-fascist administration. The previous government removed my wife from GO-Invest and me from UG. It was an obligation on the part of the new government to right those wrongs.
Not one minister, including my close personal friends, Khemraj Ramjattan and David Patterson, ever telephoned, emailed or spoke to me about any paid or unpaid work, which I could do for the new government. From May 2015 to September 2019, I was never contacted.
After 2015, instead of offering me my job back at UG, Rupert Roopnaraine contacted me to serve on the Golden Jubilee planning committee. I never had any respect for that man.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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