By GHK Lall
On this Mother’s Day, I grapple with how to encourage our mothers. From working mothers to burdened mothers to mothers who also substitute as fathers, I struggle with what to offer them on their special day, also a time of desperation. Happy Mother’s Day sounds light in substance, but it is all I have, this sincere wish from my heart to their dear hearts. It is what I give them.
Another part of me is tempted: Give a holiday in their name, ease them off their tired aching feet, give some serenity to their worried hearts. Deliver some hope, some relief of substance. To the men who are leaders (H.E, VP, PM), I say have a heart; remember your own mothers, but not them alone. Because these leaders have been so unhearing, I sometimes wonder whether they have mothers, for anyone born of woman can’t be this heartless, this deaf, to the wails of our women who are mothers worried sick. Real relief would inspire.
Next, it encourages that the media knows what is going on with Guyana’s oil. It is even better to hear some media professionals state clearly how they evaluate the government’s handling of oil issues. It was on the negative side: the population is in a state of profound ignorance about oil. The information and education needed to have an enlightened, engaged citizenry are just not there; the government’s prefers propaganda, those clever distortions of devious leaders. I would not trust Guyana’s top leaders with a $20 bill; hence, I wouldn’t trust them around a sector with billions of oil dollars, American ones.
Guyanese need to know what is happening with this oil endowment. It is not a favour from government when the President or Vice President releases some carefully filtered details about oil projects and other developments. Guyanese have every right to know, which is made even more crucial by the dirty history of our political leaders and their insiders in both the PPP/C and PNC. Thus, when information is not forthcoming freely, continually, the worst suspicions surface. Because oil is in the mix, men chosen as leaders lose their minds, become monstrous stewards.
This is now obvious in the sound and sight of the Vice President on the straightforward issue of project reports that were promised to be made public. Ranking men in the PPP Government (let’s drop this stupidity about ‘C’ please) publicly promised to share the Payara report compiled under the leadership of a Canadian with a record blotted by claims of the crooked. It was the first clue that things were going to go downhill from that dirty beginning. They have. For here it is the Vice President waffles with weak words on the issue; the President waltzes around in a clumsy imitation of an ice hockey player without skates; and the Minister of Natural Resources works at wizardries that would make an obeah practitioner green (almost PNC green) with envy.
This is most discouraging, because if national leaders can’t be trusted to keep public promises made, then there is great difficulty in trusting them with every other thing. Our word is our truth, our alpha and omega, our light that dazzles. It is neither spotted nor striped. In addition, our leaders stand as monuments of the madness that oil makes out of them. In my book, once a promise is made, it must be honoured, come hell or high-water, and this is for big things as well as little things. If not, then we are nothing.
As should be obvious from my oft-presented public contributions, our leaders in today’s PPP Government are nothing; nothing but bubble-filled balloons floating on a sea of the questionable, the disagreeable, and the execrable. They have condemned themselves into such by their own words that fail them, and in which they fail the Guyanese people, again and again. Once there is nothing to conceal, there is everything to reveal; mandatory state secrets aside – not leadership ones. And even then, there must be the leadership courage, the leadership ethics, to honour one’s word given, put things in the public domain, and roll with the punches as they come. This being Guyana, whatever comes will be powder puffs.
(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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