One evening a few years ago, during the Ramotar presidency at a public meeting at Stabroek Market square, Basil Williams was being his usual humorous self. I have known Basil since we were student-contemporaries at UG; he can be hilariously funny. With a naughty smile on his face, he came up to me while I was talking to David Hinds.
He asked me how I can write that Nigel Hughes is the inheritor of Walter Rodney’s legacy and overlook David. Basil was simply being comically mischievous but David didn’t react. I still stand by that assessment. I think Nigel is essentially a Rodneyite that has good ideas on how state power can be used for the creation of a new Guyana. I was with the AFC when he was its chairman.
Nigel stood out in that party as the only mind with ideas on how power should be used to transform Guyana. I was not surprised he opted out of the AFC literally months after the 2015 victory. I saw a few nights ago, he gave an insightful and incisive analysis of how the APNU+AFC lost its way after 2015. He opined that the goodwill the APNU+AFC received after the 2015 victory was of the optimal highest for any political party but they failed their supporters.
As I listened to his articulation of how the APNU+AFC faltered as the months and years wore on, I thought of the particular issue that caused me to break with the AFC in virtually days before it took office. I repeat here that repugnant saga which based on the depths of its depravity should permanently disbar such immoral minds from ever being part of any government. Nigel has listed roads not travelled by the APNU+AFC. Here is one such road.
After the 2015 results was officially announced days after the election, the AFC leaders gathered in their head office to assign Cabinet positions. During the deliberations, AFC wanted a Ministry of the Environment. Right there and then three leaders decided that they would offer the post to a complete stranger to politics but a very close friend of the AFC’s middle class leaders. They called her on the phone. She refused the offer. This was done in the presence of many persons who were completely overlooked. Some of these persons told me they never heard of the woman and they were in the AFC from the start.
After the Cabinet assignments, I had lunch with a number of top AFC activists at Le Excellence restaurant on Charlotte Street. There and then, on that day, I had no more respect for the AFC and my support ended. I wanted them out of power. It was heart-breaking to hear the views of these educated AFC cadres on how they were overlooked for a complete stranger. These things do not happen in politics. The PPP and PNC would never go in that direction.
I wrote about this degeneracy and David Patterson emailed me a response on Friday, April 16, 2016. He said the ministry was offered to the lady because it was a decision agreed to in 2014 to give a civil society person a Cabinet position if the AFC ever got power. No one could have corroborated Patterson’s statement. It was just not true. Plus the lady did not belong to any civil society grouping. Plus there was no discussion on who from civil society should get the position.
On that fateful day in May 2015 at that restaurant, I saw before my eyes the worst political party this country produced, a party I helped to propel to power and a party I would like to think I played a part in seeing it fall. I am glad I helped to undo what I helped to birth in 2015. I confess that there is a feeling of schadenfreude in the tribulations that are now visiting the AFC.
I could go on to describe many more deep-seated acts of immoralities and insanities that the AFC perpetuated on the poor activists that work tirelessly to bring the AFC to power. Raphael Trotman and Khemraj Ramjattan have gone beyond the betrayal of any unpatriotic politician any other party has produced in Guyana since the birth of Guyana’s first political party in 1926.
The PNC and the AFC ruthlessly used feelings, hurt, fear and emotions that the Guyanese expressed over the excesses of the PPP regime to drink at the altar of power. The Guyanese people never forgave them. Their era is over. Their century is over. The fin de siècle is here. Right now insanities have taken hold of them. They can’t believe they lost power.
(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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