Latest update June 2nd, 2023 12:49 AM
May 17, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News- Ray Daggers did it! What a Guyanese living his innermost feelings about the “barefaced” ExxonMobil contract, and the economic drain it places on this country, the economic pain it delivers on citizens.
Ray Daggers, through his Walk from Berbice, then Demerara, over to the Essequibo Coast, manifested his rage. His disgust expressed in the most public fashion for all Guyanese to give ventilation to an unequalled atrocity, this revulsion called the 2016 ExxonMobil oil contract with Guyana.
When the elected Government of Guyana, the instrument of the people, is unwilling and unmoving about doing anything to vanquish this abomination, Ray Daggers stood up, and made clear before the entire world what he thinks about the contract, and what had to be done with it. This ExxonMobil contract should be flushed down the toilet without further ado, and replaced with a renegotiated document that is fair to this country, that means better for every citizen. The positive about a well renegotiated oil contract is that ExxonMobil still profits immensely from its Guyana oil investment.
Better for every citizen means more money and benefits flowing from each aspect of the current contract, inclusive of increased revenues from royalties, a better share of the profit, taxes paid by ExxonMobil, and expenses capped at a lower level of revenues, plus the clearest expense disclosures. The full coverage insurance that ExxonMobil has dragged its feet over, and which the PPP/C Government has aided the company throughout, must be closed out, so that Guyana is protected in the event of a catastrophic spill. As ExxonMobil repeatedly rachets-up production beyond recommended safety limits, while being insufficiently monitored by a technologically-deficient Guyana, the dangers to this country multiply incrementally. Meanwhile, Guyana has nothing of financial significance that cushions or comforts it should there be such an occurrence.
These are some of the material matters that prompted Ray Daggers to get out of his bed and walk. To leave his family and walk for all Guyana. What the President should have been fighting for, Ray Daggers had to walk for because the head-of-state has long been missing in action, struck into stony silence, for the most part. What the Vice President, the man saddled with the vital responsibility of the nation’s oil patrimony, ought to have been beside himself about, a tower of strength for Guyanese benefits, he left for Ray Daggers to start. In fact, when Guyana’s Vice President of Oil should have been walking tall in front of the line, and doing ferocious battle for his fellow Guyanese, his was the preference to wage war on those Guyanese calling for renegotiation of the haemorrhaging 2016 oil contract that resulted from the schemes of ExxonMobil.
When President Ali sat in stubborn resistance against his fellow Guyanese, Ray Daggers walked for them. When Vice President Jagdeo sat immovably on his hands, or used them to attack those calling for a renegotiated contract, Ray Daggers walked. Ray Daggers started something vibrant when he took his first step in Berbice. Other Guyanese must now put their money where their mouth is, for material contract change will not come about from fear or hesitation or loyalty to party. The PPP/C Government has already shown repeatedly that its first loyalty is to ExxonMobil, and not the interests of the Guyanese people. Now it is the turn of Guyanese to show that they stand first for family and country, and not with any misplaced loyalty for any political party, not for any unwise allegiance to any leader, especially those that are using them.
The Ray Daggers Walk stirred a lot of things in Guyanese. The man’s walk stirred interest, stirred appreciation. Also, it stirred many Guyanese to their souls: we have all this oil, and we have all these needs, and all these shortages. A renegotiated contract done right would put an end to all that is wrong, all that is lacking. Ray Daggers got up and walked for Guyana. Guyanese must now get up and walk for themselves in some way, with some little thing that they do. The first is to challenge their political leaders to their face. They must be told ‘to get up and get for Guyana. Just do it!
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