I am not a religious person in any sense of the word but I am praying that Guyana’s journalism departs from its lackluster, uninspiring operation here in this country when Dr. Vincent Adams is being questioned. And I mean Dr. Adams, the politician not Dr. Adams the so-called, professional public servant who heads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
We have in this country dozens of former cabinet ministers who have some egregious, public secrets in their political lives that our journalists either do not know about or if they do, they do not see it as their journalistic duty and their obligation to the Guyanese people to engage their interviewees on.
Five years have passed and not one journalist has asked Raphael Trotman and/or David Granger what is the meaning of the words Trotman blurted out at a local government campaign meeting in Bartica in 2016. Trotman told the crowd that after the 2015 victory by APNU+AFC, Granger called him and said, “Raphael, this is Nassau,” referring to a conversation on Guyanese politics that the two men had at the airport in the Bahamas.
Not one journalist has asked any of the AFC leaders (and they were all in the room) why they chose to telephone a certain woman (whose name I have not named in several columns on the subject) and offered her the post of Minister of the Environment when they gathered at the AFC’s head office to select their ministers in May 2015.
I could go on but for now let’s deal with Dr. Adams. Let me repeat my attitude as expressed several times on this page. You have to be a simpleton or deeply dishonest (or maybe both) to see Dr. Adams as a public servant while he has the status as one of the important leaders of the AFC, a party that has no separate parliamentary existence but is joined with the PNC under the name APNU+AFC.
How can you square the two? It is an insolvable puzzle. A political leader by law and morality cannot be a professional public servant. To give legal and moral recognition to that caricature you are threading on dangerous grounds and opening up the floodgates to a failed state. The NIS manager cannot be in the leadership of an opposition party. The GRA boss cannot be in the leadership of a political party. The GPL manager cannot be in the leadership of a political party.
Apart from law and morality, the dimension of security and trust are involved. When your friend sits in parliament as the shadow minister for the environment and you and he are very close in the leadership of your party, there is the risk that you can pass information on to him. The logic is simple. He has to perform in parliament to score points against the sitting minister and you as his party colleague, heads the environment agency where you have all the information about government’s business.
David Patterson is shadow minister in parliament for the environment. Dr. Adams and Patterson sit together in all the major decision-making forums of the AFC. Dr. Adams and Patterson were the chief negotiators for the AFC in the renewal of the Cummingsburg Accord, a covenant that has become an asinine piece of “politrix” seeing that APNU+AFC lost the 2020 election.
Here now are some questions for Dr. Adams. Did he know how Patterson introduced the proposed changes to the Accord to the 33-member executive committee of the AFC in February 2020? The answer is yes because Dr. Adams was there. Here is what Patterson did. He set up a screen, used a projector and showed each proposed changes so quickly that the executives hardly had time to see what they were looking at muchless to debate each proposal.
It appears that Clairmont Mingo knew what Patterson did so he copied Patterson using the same kind of instruments when he was showing the statements of poll at the GECOM head office on the night of Friday March 13, 2020. The AFC executives were never shown the final changes to the Cummingsburg Accord. Patterson, Dr. Adams, Leonard Craig, who was the third negotiator for the AFC, and the leadership of the AFC announced that certain parts of the Accord have to remain inaccessible to the people of Guyana and party activists.
Can Dr. Adams, esteemed professional head of the EPA, tell the Guyanese people why, as one of the leaders of a major political party (before it died in March 2020), he wanted to keep that arrangement secret? Does he, Dr. Adams, believe in levelling with his party members? Why Guyanese should trust such a person to be the head of the EPA?
(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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