In November 2012, on an email string with dozens of political observers, political pundits, AFC and APNU supporters and independent thinkers, Nigel Hinds sent a mail rejecting my criticism of certain people in APNU like Rupert Roopnaraine and Jocelyn Dow. His tone was insulting. During the exchanges that followed, he selected David Granger as the person to shape Guyana’s future.
In those exchanges, I came to dismiss the politics of this man. His arguments told me this was an inherently flawed mind. He was the auditor appointed by the PNC to investigate the accuracy of the statements of poll for the 2011 elections which the PNC contended was rigged. To date, neither the PNC nor Hinds published the findings.
It didn’t surprise me when he resigned from the chairmanship of GWI board over GWI’s insistence that Bobby Ramroop should not be the owner of a GWI facility which was situated on the property of Queens Atlantic when Ramroop bought over Sanata Textiles.
Hinds as chairman, as reported in this newspaper, had asked the GWI to stay its hands in the quarrel. At the time, Hinds’ organization, the Amateur Basketball Federation, again as reported in this newspaper, had been the recipient of a sponsorship from Ramroop.
The controversy erupted in October 2016. Months after, Hinds published a long letter (May 25, 2017) in the Kaieteur News denouncing my “constant” criticism of the past presidency and current politics of Bharrat Jagdeo. In that missive, Hinds extolled the virtues of Jagdeo.
In 2019, Hinds co-founded a political party to oppose both Granger and Jagdeo, both men that he was so enamoured with. His party “Change Guyana” made him the PM candidate. From the time he was anointed with that position, Hinds never uttered one word about his dual citizenship.
After the nationality controversy that erupted over Charrandass Persaud’s, and that claimed the resignation of four sitting ministers, Guyana and the region knew that a politician could not have MP status if he has dual citizenship. Yet Hinds knew he had an American passport and never informed the voters that he was asking to make him Prime Minister.
So when did these voters know? Two days after Nomination Day when he exited the 2020 campaign, and only then we knew that he was taking steps to rescind the American status. It comes down to a question of belief.
I don’t want Hinds to sue me for libel. I have seen enough of Hinds to convince me he is an intolerant politician that would sue you. But no judge can tell me I haven’t a right to voice my opinion as to if I believe what a politician says. And I am saying that I don’t believe Hinds.
I feel sorry for Robert Badal. I hope Hinds’ descent does not affect the way voters see Change Guyana. But Mr. Badal will have to face obvious questions, one of which is compelling. Did he know of Hinds’ American status when he designated him as PM candidate? If no, then Hinds is in serious trouble. If yes, then why didn’t Hinds, Badal and Change Guyana level with voters and inform them that Hinds would relinquish his American citizenship?
There is another dimension that makes Hinds look asinine. Knowing that you cannot have dual citizenship, then how can you become the PM candidate without cancelling the American passport before you started your campaign to enter Parliament? Mr. Badal put on a brave face by saying he wishes Hinds’ well in his medical treatment.
What more can Badal say? Hinds has messed up Change Guyana. Badal is experienced enough to know large numbers are not going to fall for Hinds’ pathetic, nonsensical explanation. Hinds has pulled out of the race two days after bravely perambulating the perimeters of the Umana Yana then entering to hand in his list.
On Friday, two days before his announcement about his having dual citizenship, didn’t Hinds know he had an ailment that needed treatment abroad? So Friday passed, Saturday passed, and only on Sunday evening did Hinds know he would not in any way compromise his medical benefits and easy access, thus revealing he is an American citizen.
Maybe Hinds is gone from the political scene. In my letter on him in this newspaper last month (“Freddie Kissoon replies to Nigel Hinds,” KN, December, 5), I questioned his suitability as a politician. I am happy for voters that he is gone. This country does not need the types like Nigel Hinds. But sadly they keep coming up. Look at some of the jokers in those small parties. They refused to form an alliance because their egos are taller than the world’s tallest structure in Dubai.
(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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