On Thursday evening I was in conversation with three friends – Ogle airport engineer, Raymond Persaud and two AFC members; former General Secretary, Marlon Williams and youth activist, Arnold Sukhraj. I told Marlon and Arnold I will be going to their party’s campaign meetings, because I would like to hear them on the platform.
I told Marlon I will be on the pulpit of Lenox Shuman’s party and Change Guyana of Robert Badal, because I am supporting third parties. He said to me that it is unfortunate and regrettable that I will not be on the platform for the AFC. I reacted by telling Raymond that Marlon’s Freudian mind was at work, because he chose not to ask why I will not speak for the PPP.
I decided to be provocative. I asked Marlon to tell me what is wrong with the PPP that I should not speak on their bandwagon. He gave an example. There was an incident during the PPP’s rule where drug traffickers had a party at Buddy’s Pool Hall. Armed criminals with AK 47s were bullying drivers, instructing them where to turn off from Sherriff Street. He gave another example where drug traffickers were openly using violence in full view of the public. His point was made and it was a strong one.
Then as I was about to reply, he and Arnold walked toward their car. He was not going to listen to my injection. As he moved towards the car, I told him about some of the violent men now holding state authority that committed violent acts during the post-election violence in 1997, the public service strike in 1999, and what I know of some of them in Buxton, 2002-2005. As he drove away, I told him both sides have violent leaders.
About five minutes after he left, Marlon drove back and from the window of the car said. “Freddie one side send killers to you, the other side sent envoys.” I didn’t get to finish my reply, but he heard when I said; “Marlon, I agree with you, but both sides should not rule Guyana because they are identical.”
The Marlon Williams thesis I face daily. Supporters of APNU+AFC keep telling me that the PPP did terrible things to me that APNU+AFC did not. It always ends like this; “So Freddie, do you want these people back in power?” My answer has become a stuck record. I do not want them back; hope that they will not get back get in, but I will not accept that because they are monsters, I must choose APNU+AFC.
The essential point of Marlon and the other folks who echo Marlon’s sentiments is that there is the lesser of two evils, and one must choose the lesser. What is missing in this delivery is that the lesser is also evil. Whether lesser or thinner, evil is there. Why then should I choose evil even though it is not large or broad as other evils? It is not evil after all?
From the time Charrandass Persaud told me how he would have voted for the no-confidence motion (NCM) in December 2018, I encouraged him. I am not going to be dishonest in my politics. A year before the NCM, he discussed the possibility with me and I urged him to do it. There was never even the remotest thought that if he did the PPP would return. That thinking never crossed my mind.
I urged Charran to vote in an NCM because of my concern for the future of my country. It was clear to me in 2017 when Charran raised the issue with me at a birthday party on David Street, Kitty, that APNU+AFC was a failed construct that would not be different in the type of governance we have had from 1966, and that APNU+AFC was not the future of Guyana and will not be.
I was driven to support Charran by the absolute depravity of the power intoxication inside the collective mentality of the AFC that I saw since 2017.
I believed then and I still believe that with the NCM bringing down the government, endless possibilities would open up for taming the power-hogging of the two big parties that have been destroying Guyana since 1957.
This is where I am at. My mind is made up – the PPP should not return. Their rule was evil. I know about evil, because evil visited me under the PPP. I agree with Marlon – they sent killers to me. But I want a future for my country, and APNU+AFC cannot give that. Only power-sharing can.
(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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