Kaieteur News – There is no other police force and government in any other country that would allow its Traffic Chief to be contemptuously dismissed by a private company, the way Banks DIH treated the Traffic Chief at Thirst Park yesterday.
I am calling on the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Home Affairs to demand an apology from Mr. Clifford Reis. Two things on my mind need to be said.
One is that Mr. Reis, at age 90, needs to retire and let new brains lead Banks DIH into the future. The board and management of Banks DIH have too many persons that need to give way in a country where 70 percent of the population is under 45.
The second thing is this country needs another Mark Benschop. At the moment, I do not share even in the remotest way, the politics of Benschop. But whether you like Benschop or not; during his active days in Guyana, he espoused human rights causes. If Benschop were here, he would have protested the illegal hegemony of Banks DIH.
Yesterday morning, my daughter, wife and I went to Banks DIH at Thirst Park. As I drove in, the gate security told me they have no parking facility for non-staff. I then enquired why then almost half of a mile of public parapet, beginning from Rahaman’s Turn way down to Mandela Avenue on the Ruimveldt public road, Banks DIH has placed dozens of cones preventing public parking. Where then are visitors to park?
Security personnel told me the cones were there for years. Something was wrong here. How can a trillion dollar company hijack an enormous amount of public parapet? Inside the office, a management official told me that was company policy after I complained.
I was given the number of the legal department. I was right in front the door of the office but decided to ring first. I was told Ms. Williams cannot see me because she was busy. After I came off the phone, security came up to me and told me management has ordered me to leave.
I spoke to no one except one lady. I had no encounter with anyone at Thirst Park. I spoke with only one lady whose name is Cheryl Darrell. It was clear Ms. Darrell did not like me but we absolutely had no unfriendly exchange. The cameras would show that I only spoke to Ms. Darrell. It meant that management heard that I was complaining about the cones and evicted me.
I sought protection from the Commissioner of Police. He asked the Traffic Chief to check on the legalities of the cones. The Traffic Chief (TC), Inspector Ramdas, and I travelled to Thirst Park. Then something weird happened.
Remember management knew I was evicted and the place is ringed with cameras. So, they saw when I arrived with the two police officers. Immediately, one of the security ranks went on the intercom and pretended he was talking.
He took more than five minutes. So the TC asked the rank manning the outpost if she got through to management. She said she cannot make contact because someone is on the intercom. Someone came on the intercom without identifying himself and told us we have to wait until the chief security officer is located.
After waiting, the TC decided that he has to make contact with management. A woman came on the intercom and insisted that the TC must wait. The TC asked for name and designation, she refused, then, said her name was Ms. Weeks but flatly refused to give her designation. All of this waiting was at the front security hut. At no time, anyone from management invited the TC and Inspector Ramdas for a discussion.
The TC and Inspector Ramdas knew they were given the grand run-around. Banks DIH management knew we were there. They were looking at us from the cameras. I have no locus standi in the matter but the police did. Banks DIH could have refused to talk to me by saying I was a private citizen but not the police.
Only one person spoke to the TC. Not one official came out to meet him or invited him in. I knew there and then what I was witnessing – the power of money and status that derecognises any authority in government, the police and the army.
It is a sad day for any country and for the rule of law when the Traffic Chief of a country could be treated like that. He was a gentleman and in order to preserve his credibility, he walked away saying that the police will remove the cones. Oh, how I wish I were the same crazy youth I was so long ago.
(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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