Jul 13, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – We get this off our chest, and on the table, so that Guyanese can look at this farce being played upon the nation, and making total fools of all citizens. It is this masquerade called public consultation. Having been there ourselves in face-to-face and arm’s length nearness, this is what we have to say about public consultation: it is another of Jagdeo’s jokes, another rabbit in the big bag of Jagdeo’s jests, he toys with the people, including those faithful supporters who believe what he says, but are due great disappointment.
The first thing we noted in Friday’s consultation at the Umana Yana was that the man from Exxon, Mr. Mike Ryan, only answered those questions that he wanted to answer, those he felt comfortable responding to, and those relaying the stories that Exxon and the PPP/C government wanted to sell. By now, everybody should know that when the PPP/C government is mentioned with reference to oil, it means the Vice President, and no one else, not even the nation’s head of state himself. The VP is not just Guyana’s oilman; he is Guyana’s only oil power and oil authority.
What he says goes, and both he and Exxon have put their heads together, and cooked up a nice, sweet story, intended to soothe Guyanese, who are so trusting (or lost) as to believe them. In a nutshell, what Exxon and the VP are doing is selling a Guyanese a bill of goods. It is not pretty, not clear, and definitely not clean. For younger Guyanese, who are unfamiliar with the term, to ‘sell someone a bill of goods’ means to present them with a lie, or a fraud, and try tirelessly to convince them it is truth, they are sincere, and they are dealing with the real thing. And they should not want to lose out.
But on this gas-to-shore project and this pretense at public consultations, Guyanese have already lost, they lose out and don’t know, don’t care to know, or don’t want to know. Regardless of who does or doesn’t, we at this paper want to know, since so much is involved, and so many crimes have occurred, with many more costly ones to come, with this oil of ours. From the secret sale of the rich Canje and Kaieteur oil Blocks to mystery men, to the secrecies from the VP about review reports and the other things he conceals from Guyanese until cornered, and then not even having the decency to come clean, to now this late developing, but ballooning, mystery about a third party involved in the Natural gas coming from the offshore project.
Why are we, the Guyanese people who own this oil, only learning about this now? And then by default, under duress, and still only part of the story, since the identity of the third party destined to receive this oil of ours is a closely kept mystery. This is our position: it might be a mystery currently to Guyana, but it is not a mystery to either the people at Exxon or to the man who knows everything, especially the extended and expensive skullduggeries, surrounding this oil of ours in general, and regarding this white elephant in waiting, this gas to shore project, specifically.
For the enlightenment of our fellow citizens, Vice President Jagdeo had gone on record stating that the economics and underpinnings of this gas-to-shore project are so simple that it is a ‘no brainer,’ and that even someone possessing a ‘tiny brain’ would have no difficulty understanding what is involved, and how beneficial it would be to Guyana’s energy needs. It was so simple that he somehow forgot to remember to tell Guyanese about the flow of the Natural gas produced and where and in whose hands, it ends up. What else has the VP withheld? Why do things have to come out this way? What about this clean gas could be so dirty that it must be hidden?
We were willing to support this project, when convinced with its bona fides, now we distance from it. Too much unsaid, too much trickery, too much of the same old dirty, leadership stories.
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