The incident described below is the kind of thing the media should report on. But there are so many open secrets in politics that the media do not know about, which they should know and inform the nation about, because the nation needs to know.
For almost a year, a foreign consultancy has been working out of Congress Place, advising the PNC on the election campaign, in a project named ‘Operation Palm’. August last year, the PNC invited the executive of the AFC to listen to the head of the consultancy.
The gentleman addressed the AFC executive body at State House. See my column of Wednesday, August 14, 2019 headlined, “The pathetic nonsense Granger’s British advisor uttered”.
Granger is involved in shades of paramountcy of the party. First, he held that meeting with the AFC at State House, then the signing in December last year of the renewed Cummingsburg Accord, a party document, took place at State House.
Does it make sense for Granger to behave this way? It does. He is a profound admirer of his hero, Forbes Burnham. At his former, private residence in D’Urban Backlands, Granger has housed four foundations that bear the name of Forbes Burnham.
The media do not know about ‘Operation Palm’, and if they did, they have not informed the Guyanese people.
The incident described below took place just before midnight last Friday. It is for the media to contact the AFC’s leader Khemraj Ramjattan, its General-Secretary, David Patterson and its deputy General Secretary, Leonard Craig., They were all part of the incident.
Round about midnight, a canter truck drove onto the southern parapet directly in front of the AFC’s head office. Some men emerged with a sack of cement and a bucket of sand. They threw both on the parapet, while some others took out the legs of a billboard.
Ramjattan probably heard the incident and summoned the security ranks at the office to gather up a group to stop the erection of the billboard. Leonard Craig was contacted by Ramjattan with the identical message. In quick time, a school of AFC strongmen, emerged and surrounded the truck and the workmen.
One cutlass-wielding member shouted; “people gun dead here tonight.” Some AFC members had huge pieces of wood in their hands. Others shouted out “war break.” This echo reverberated throughout the still of the night. From the windows of the residents, the silhouettes of people peeping could be seen in the darkness of the night.
Cars came to a screeching halt next to the besieged workers. David Patterson ran out of his vehicle, screaming, “lef dem, lef dem, is we people.” War break turned to break-wind. The midnight drama ended in uproarious hilarity.
Here is what happened. Some businessmen wanted to give Ramjattan a surprise. So they paid for a 20-feet billboard with a gargantuan image of Ramjattan’s visage, and, a week before it was completed, asked Patterson to be their liaison.
Patterson then ordered all cars parked on that parapet to be removed, because he said a large tent was going up there. The vehicles were removed and the parapet was cleaned to look like a new piece of carpet. The tent was the excuse so as not to give away the secret.
Since it was a surprise, Patterson could not have hinted it to anyone in the AFC, thus Ramjattan, Craig, AFC campaign workers and the security ranks thought that the PPP was moving in on AFC’s territory, and were prepared to declare war on the occupants of the canter truck.
AGC bigwigs were laughing. War did not break out on the parapet, because Khemraj’s business friends were showing gratitude for favours bestowed since 2015.
The invisible dimension in this break-wind hilarity is sad. Those who tangibly supported ruling politicians are in turn treated favourably. But not the ordinary tireless, campaign workers.
I called Raphael Trotman and asked him to secure a house lot for long-standing AFC activist, Gordon April. Trotman said he would speak to then Housing Minister Keith Scott.
I told Trotman that April deserves it, so he must insist Scott do it. Trotman told me that he does not relate to ministers in that way. In Survival Supermarket, I raised the subject with Trotman’s wife, Nicola. She said she would do it for April whom she knows well. Hasn’t happened as yet.
(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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