I have been involved in human rights activities and social and political activism all my life. I have seen ugly minds in the PPP that would have killed me if they had their way. I have seen fetid minds in the PNC that would have gladly murdered me if they had their way. I have seen nasty minds in the AFC that wished terrible tragedies on me because of my critiques.
But the dialectical movements generate immense contradictions. I have seen PPP leaders who personally apologized to me for wrongs things the PPP government did to me. I have encountered PNC leaders who admitted to me that despite my daily critical columns of their government, they personally like and admire me. I had people inside the AFC leadership telling me how they regretted that the AFC never consulted me on policy directions.
I have met all kinds of politically bad and politically good people from both sides of party politics and both sides of ethnic politics. Some of these genuine folks are an asset to professional life and this country needs them because they are people with moral obligations and they employ those obligations in their professional life. I hereby recommend the following names above to the President, the Prime Minister, and Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President.
I recommend Edgar Thomas for the post of Commissioner of Police. I got to know Thomas from dealing with him on several occasions with complaints of noise nuisance. Thomas is a cut above the rest. A mannerly, respectful man, this guy represents what a police officer should always be. He risked his job for embracing professional ethics.
Thomas refused to evict a man from his own house when he was ordered by some low-life GECOM secretariat official to remove GECOM Commissioner, Sase Gunraj from Gunraj’s own workplace where he was one of the persons actually in charge of GECOM. He was humiliated and assigned road duties. In another article, I will look at the role of the just-retired commissioner in the election sage. For now, the new government must duly reward Thomas for his courage.
Derek Cummings is currently the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications. Mr. Cummings’ first loyalty is to Guyana and service to the Guyanese people. Whichever party is in power, Cummings relates to Guyanese as a professional civil servant. These types of public servants do not care who is PNC or PPP, they care about their professional conduct and they see themselves as serving Guyana not party politics. The new government would need these kinds of attitude in the administration of the nation’s affairs.
Next is Mike Khan who administered the Georgetown Hospital for over a decade. I was a virulent critic of the PPP government when Khan served at that institution but Khan never saw me as a politician but a Guyanese who needs to be served. I have received assistance from Khan for countless people, many of whom would have died if Khan did not intervene.
When the government changed, it did a forensic audit of the Georgetown Hospital and not an iota of evidence of wrong-doing by Khan was discovered. It was an act of victimization when the APNU+AFC removed Khan. He did a positive job with the hospital and his institutional memory should be retained.
Finally, there is Geoff Da Silva who once headed GOINVEST. It was stupid of the APNU+AFC administration not to retain many of the public servants it inherited from the PPP government; Da Silva was one of them. Of the four names mentioned here, I had the least dealings with Da Silva. I never had a conversation with him – just hi, hello, good morning. But I know Da Silva never saw the clients he had to attend to with political lenses. People are Guyanese for Da Silva and he treated them that way.
As someone who has been victimized because I was critical of the PPP regime and the PNC+AFC government, I know how refreshing it was to meet officials from the PPP and PNC governments and be greeted with the attitude that saw me as someone who only wanted to do good for my country.
(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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