Kaieteur News – Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, the former Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Guyana, was two years my junior as a UG student. After he graduated, he left Guyana. Dr. Griffith stayed out a long, long time. During his absence, some of us, like Griffith, went abroad to study and returned. I can think of Dr. Patrick Williams, Dr. Mark Kirton and many others from our class of 74. Combined I think myself, Kirton, and Williams gave UG more than 100 years of service.
On returning to Guyana to be VC, Griffith gave an interview with the Stabroek News in which he spoke of his experience of living abroad for more than 36 years. On his return to Guyana in 2016, the next year, he was given the CCH award while on the same list Dr. Kirton got AA and Adam Harris got AA.
I did a column rejecting the gross indecency of the APNU+AFC government. If it wanted to give Griffith the CCH that was nobody’s business but to give an honour below CCH to Harris and Dr. Kirton in the same year was tantamount to the worst form of asininity I have seen from colonial days right up to that year of award. See my article of Saturday, June 3, 2017, “Politicians in all countries use national awards as patronage.”
The service to Guyana by Harris and Dr. Kirton will never ever be matched by Griffith. Now don’t get me wrong. My beef was not with what Griffith got but the patent idiocy of the APNU+AFC mandarins to give Harris and Dr. Kirton an award below that of CCH and yet give another person that hardly served a higher accolade. A quick word of how life can never ever be predicted.
In those 36 years that Griffith was out of the jurisdiction, I have been in Guyana working both with Harris and Dr. Kirton. One in the sphere of journalism and the other in the field of academia. I would never have believed that they would embrace what happened from March to August this year. But will we ever know people? Now let’s expose the hypocrisy of Dr. Vincent Adams.
He is reported in a section of the press as saying, “I came from the alleys of Christiansburg and everything I am, I got from there.” My job as a social commentator and academic is to study Guyana. Prior to his return home in 2017, I never heard of the contribution of someone named Dr. Vincent Adams. I know there is a famous son from Christiansburg, Aubrey Norton who never left Guyana.
I hope Dr. Adams correct me if I am wrong but the facts I have is that he came back in 2017 after retirement in the US at the age of 70. I remembered having fish and chips with him and Michael Carrington, both of the AFC, at DCC and those were the facts I gathered from the conversation. I stand corrected.
On a more ideological level, I do not see Vincent Adams as a democrat given his status as one of the leaders of the two parties that ran Guyana for five years and two months. From all the facts I have secured about the AFC’s authoritarian structure, Dr. Adams was no democratic radical, no democratic maverick. On the contrary, his role in the renegotiation of the Cummingsburg Accord placed him in the camp of those AFC monarchs who ran the AFC as a fiefdom.
Dr. Adams was one of the AFC’s negotiators in the renewal of the Cummingsburg Accord. The AFC executives were never given the opportunity to endorse the final document. At the AFC’s executive meeting in December 2019 before the March 2020 election, the executives were given the proposed amendments to the covenant to look at on a screen.
The General Secretary, David Patterson, operated the projector in such a way the executives could hardly see the points because they moved so quickly. An art of working a projector that Clairmont Mingo learnt from Patterson when Mingo did the same at GECOM head office with the Region Four statements of poll.
The renewed Cummingsburg Accord was never made public. The PNC and AFC never revealed to their respective party executives what was inside those pages. Ramjattan and Harmon told the press that sections of the covenant have to remain secret. Finally, Dr. Adams told the press that given how he was fired, “If this is the way the country will be led, then we have a long way to go.” Dr. Adams should tell Guyanese if Guyana could have gone in any good way given the way he and others ran the AFC as a party and the Guyana Government.
(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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