Mar 03, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., on Monday waded into the previous administration of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) for its record, which he posited did more for its cronies, such as Brian Tiwari of BK International, than its constituents.
His comments come as APNU+AFC, now in Opposition, has ramped up a campaign at the center of which is claims that the Irfaan Ali administration is unfriendly to the Afro-Guyanese community, and that Afro-Guyanese officials in the administration were token representatives.
“Mr. Speaker, how sadistic are the Honourable members to think that because members on this side have chosen a political path different from them, that they can denigrate our members and deny them a rightful place among proud African people of this land?” Nandlall said. “What the Honourable members are exhibiting, Mr. Speaker, is the worst form of racism, and that is what they practiced when they were in government but with a single caveat, the persons whose interest the Honourable members protected were not the ordinary working class Afro-Guyanese but financiers, friends and families – an elite, exclusive band.”
He reminded that shortly after the David Granger Coalition assumed office in 2015, it doled out US$5.7 million to BK International as ‘compensation’ rather than suing him for breaches of contract following its decision to terminate his contract for the development of the Haags-Bosch landfill.
“Point me to any Afro-Guyanese village that they spent US$5.7M in a single project, over the past five years!” he said.
Nandlall continued, “Rather than confiscate for breach of contract, the Honourable members gifted BK Marine a wharf valued $40 billion for only $20 million. Passing title to him, which expressly says that it is free from all liabilities, meaning that he does not have to pay a cent more, and passing this title after they lost the March 2nd 2020 elections.”
“Point to any Afro-Guyanese or better yet any Afro-Guyanese village that the Honourable members have spent $40 billion dollars in over the last five years?” Nandlall asked.
He then moved on to APNU+AFC’s management of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), granting acres upon acres of land “to their friends and cronies, illegally.”
“What lands have they given to the people of Den Amstel, Buxton, Golden Grove, Nabacalis, Litchfield, Victoria, Belladrum, Mocha and I can go on,” the Attorney General posited.
“Months before the 2020 elections in an elections gimmick, the Honourable members quickly distributed a few house lots in areas that were completely undeveloped and unprepared for housing. So, Honourable Member Anette Ferguson, came here and said that she distributed over 300 house lots in Mon Repos, Mr. Speaker I can take you to show that only now the land is being cleaned, graded and roads are being constructed. What the Honourable member distributed as house lots were cane fields and cow pasture.”
Likewise, the AG pointed to several projects and actions by the APNU+AFC, which he considers to be a failure to deliver on its promises to its constituents. These include taking away land from farmers, its handling of the teachers’ strike for better wages and conditions, stalling of public servants’ promotions, former Minister Tabitha Sarabo-Halley’s unlawful dismissal of public servants, closures of sugar estates resulting in thousands of workers being placed on the breadline, etc.
“The Honourable members come here pretending to be representatives of Afro Guyanese,” Nandlall said, “when all they have done in government is pauperized the ordinary people of this country, including Afro Guyanese.”
He went on to state that APNU+AFC is wrong to assume authority to determine who is more qualified to represent Afro-Guyanese.
“Let me make it abundantly clear Mr. Speaker,” Nandlall told the House, “none of the Honourable members on that side is more qualified to represent Afro-Guyanese than anyone on this side, and the record will show that successive PPP/C governments have done more for Afro-Guyanese and indeed every racial group in this country than you have ever done since Independence. This Afro-centric charade of the Honourable members must be dismantled. How dare the Honourable members look at Mark Phillips, the Prime Minister of this country with substantial portfolio responsibilities and label him a mere token? How dare the Honourable members look at Oneidge Walrond, the Minister with portfolio for Trade, Industry and Tourism in this country and label her a token? How dare the Honourable members label Joseph Hamilton, the Minister with the portfolio for Labour as a token, label Bishop Edghill, the Minister responsible for Public Works as a token, Kwame McKoy with responsibility for the entire State media, a mere token, Hugh Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as a mere token, and Minister Robeson Benn, the Minister with responsibility for National Security as a mere token. Are these Honourable members not Afro Guyanese? Were their foreparents not brought in chains and enslaved on this land?”
The Attorney General said that Guyana is at a fundamental juncture, where Guyanese of every race and class must make a choice about whether they will themselves to be abused and manipulated by APNU+AFC.
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