Sep 28, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – At this crucial juncture in our history, it is imperative that we put aside what divides us. It is because what divides, first devastates us, then has the potential to destroy us in the long run. We are delighted that a leader in the private sector had strong words to share on this recently, when he insisted that now is the time for the PPP/C Government and the Opposition APNU+AFC to mature into solid adulthood if we are going to get what is due to us from our wealth. Recently, one of the more frequent public voices in the Opposition has sounded similar sentiments when she placed the commonsense on the table. It is that “Getting the most from our resources must trump differences between Govt., Opposition” -KN September 24). There is nothing that we can add to that, other than we totally agree.
The natural resources that we have currently are plentiful, but they could quickly drain into less than a meaningful economic handful. Natural resources are mostly depleting assets, for as they are harvested, they don’t replace themselves. It follows, therefore, that when the natural resources going is good, we must work our hardest to get the most out of them. One way to do so is for our Government and Opposition to hammer out an understanding that has the primary objective of bringing together our wounded peoples. Our politics have drained us dry for over six decades now, and now that we are this rich, we must also possess the richness of wisdoms needed to lift us up to meet the challenges that come with the massive wealth that is ours.
There is no choice really, if this country is to get the most out of its natural resource endowments. Each day that we drag our feet, resist reaching out to each other, we hasten our own exploitations, and contribute to them. The first duty of ExxonMobil and the others present here is to their shareholders. Darren Woods and John Hess, the bosses of ExxonMobil and Hess Corporation respectively know that, and work diligently to fulfilling their fiduciary duties prudently. It should be exactly the same outlook, emotion, and energy that power President Ali, VP Jagdeo, and Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton to deliver on what they all owe to every Guyanese.
The Guyanese people have invested in these local leaders, and they must prove that they are up to the tests that come with these natural resource gifts. We agree with Opposition MP, Ms. Amanza Walton-Desir, that when the PPP/C Government and Coalition Opposition are of one head and heart, “then there’s no room for anyone to come in, and set us one against the other.” But this is exactly what foreign companies have a history of doing in other societies, with oil majors being among the leaders in the divide-and-rule camp. We allow them to capitalise further on our differences and we can kiss goodbye to the richest returns from our oil sector for ourselves.
Anyone looking at how the two race-based major parties have operated, would quickly appreciate that this country is tailor made for our long existing differences to be stoked and heated up some more. Because we are so preoccupied with bringing down each other, it doesn’t require much of outsiders to inflame existing passions, and make their own road clearer and easier to exploit and to fetch away our riches. The leaders in the PPP/C Government and Opposition Coalition all know this, yet they have not done much that is tangible to ease the warring sides of the divide away from where they are, so that we can be our own masters and get what is rightfully due to us.
We think that both Government and Opposition must do more. They must go beyond talk, and public postures, about all Guyanese and actually do the things that show they are sincere, are serious. We shouldn’t be talking about differences today, but how we succeeded in overcoming them against the odds and despite the efforts of foreigners to keep us apart. It is time that the PPP/C Government and the Coalition Opposition walk the talk, make good on what they owe the Guyanese people.
Exxon has to put up a sign board across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to tell Guyanese what % of revenue we are getting from the Stabroek Block!
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