Apr 25, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – We know that gold is being found by OMAI Gold Mines Limited (OMGL), as announced by the company itself, which has resumed operations after over a decade of absence. But the more we know about gold being found, and the bright prospects of more gold being found by OMGL, the less we, the Guyanese know. For all intents and purposes, the citizens of this country know next to nothing and exist in a state of darkness and ignorance, which was what was confirmed, yet again, by the headline article titled, “OMAI Contract still shrouded in secrecy as company boasts of finding more gold” (KN April 24).
Instead of taking hard editorial positions, we at this publication start out by asking some pointed questions which, though sharp, could only be considered timely and fair by any reasonable observer. First, which self-respecting leader, in this day and age, is proud to operate a national administration that he himself committed to would be about transparency? This was what President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali proudly included in his inaugural address almost nine months ago, what he promised the nation, the region, the international community, and the whole world.
It is either His Excellency has developed acute and extended memory lapses, or he is guilty of deliberately travelling down a slippery road, one that has already left him falling on his face, given the hollowness of his transparency commitment. Since, the President has sparred dangerously and deceptively with transparency, our second question can only be presented in the bluntest and most disgusted manner: what is he really up to with transparency on the OMAI Contract? What is his government all about in the department of transparency? What is he and his Vice President and his government doing, really involved in, has committed this country to, when there is so much secrecy surrounding not just the OMAI Contract (and gold, on which we focus today), but on everything that they touch? What are all three all about on contracts related to oil and gas, and the relationships, which they enter into, and the benefits (or lack of same) that they offer to the sum of the Guyanese people?
We share something with our reading audience, which should stir some sparks of memory, nods of knowing, since it should be familiar on an individual note, which is the result of wise experience. It can be ordinary citizens, or all the way to the top in the figures of heads of state across the globe. But there is an observation and situation that prevails, and which really cannot be challenged. It is that people, regardless of what official or personal level they function, who like darkness fear the light. For light is the truth of revelation, light comes from putting things on the table, at which point, more light can be shed upon those things, once obscured by darkness. When men and women, from any culture, any walk of life, shrink from the light, they stand scarred and naked.
Men and women, who hate the light, love the darkness, because of the secrecies that they harbour and allow to flourish in quiet existence. In most circumstances, such darkness can be about leadership wrongdoings, since darkness serves as a thick and impenetrable shroud for the purpose of cover-ups. It does not matter whether it is a small man or a big man, a poor man or a rich man, a weak man or a powerful man. And the more powerful that man or woman, the higher their office, the more they have to cover-up when they go about the business of governance in an unclean and unethical manner.
It is becoming clearer and clearer by the day that the leaders of this, no longer new government, have a lot to hide. The postures of its leaders speak out against them, condemn them before one and all. The words of government leaders are dodgy and exemplary in deviousness, from what is withheld and sidestepped, in what is distanced from and avoided, as though it is some new and frightening variant of the pandemic that bludgeons the world. The very body language of PPP leaders smells to the heavens, and it conveys something else about them. They are fearful, so they study carefully, connive still more carefully, and come up with these unconvincing stories that in spite of all their great precautions expose them as deceivers of the first order. But there is still a rancid rankness about them that attacks the nostrils, that confirms something about them: they misinform too much.
And because of all of this, they have neither moral authority nor the soundness of deep trustworthiness that recommends them for leadership of this country. Leadership that is clean, leadership that makes mistakes, but admits to those openly, and sincerely commits to making amends. Instead of that, what the citizens of this society have had is deception upon deception, trickery heaped upon trickery, and one folly and farce following on the heels of the other. We wonder how long these charades will be continued, how long the leaders in Guyana’s government think that they can get away with the secrecies and skullduggeries that they keep piling upon the heads of the people of this rich land.
If it were OMAI Gold alone, even though it could be so beneficial to the Guyanese treasury, the secrecy and possible underlying failings may (may) have been left alone, and given a partial pass, because such is the wicked and covetous nature of man. But this is representative of the scale and degree of the kind of chronic governance and leadership sicknesses that saturate just about every rich nook and cranny in which there is national treasure to be found. One would have thought that because we have been blessed with such vast and varied natural resource gifts that some things would have been not touched by leadership acquisitiveness and leadership rapaciousness, but we have been so cursed and comprehensively. It is where nothing is off-limits, just peel away the leadership masks.
Without a doubt, what prevails in Guyana today, are leaders who have imprisoned themselves to the conspiratorial side of politics and governance. One man speaks stirringly about transparency, and now stands as the indecency of impotency, contented to be a mere follower and lacking in instincts to lead. We are compelled to call it for what it is, which is a naked form of democratic primitivism. There are these mounting grotesque travesties, and still an entire nation is asked to commit to a willing suspension of disbelief, and an adjournment of conscience.
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