Kaieteur News – In this matter involving Mr. David Patterson, I feel sorry for the acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Clifton Hicken. In my estimation, he has been put in an awkward place, left holding a nasty and tricky bag, and moved to clean up after some heavy-duty people in this country.
The facts of Mr. Patterson are that he was a minister of government, he is a current Opposition Member of Parliament, and he is part of the cohort of Guyanese who are lawmakers in this land. I would venture to conclude that such a Guyanese is due a bit more courtesy that the rank-and-file citizen. He may not measure up as a Very Important Person (VIP) in the PPP Government’s way of thinking, but he is not an ordinary citizen. Mr. Patterson’s background is all of that and then some more. There is this fluid matter of him directing some liquids at an unobjecting wall, on the one hand; and there is, on the other, an objection lodged over his being in a less than presentable sartorial state, which allegedly contributed to his own raucous objection on being called out for desecrating a passive fence.
Those are the circumstances that landed Mr. Patterson, MP, in the blindfolded territory of what passes for law and order and justice in this society. From my perspective, Mr. Patterson earned his entrance ticket on the hallowed grounds of the law. But when he finds himself graced with the special isolation and segregation and attention of a ‘no-fly’ or ‘no travel’ list that that is taking things too far, and introducing the nasty and cloudy in an issue that seemingly stems from urine and now YOU CAN’T FLY. It takes a mind extraordinarily gifted in dirty tricks to generate such an abomination. From the bottomless black bag of the PPP emerges this glimpse of a blacklist that targets some Guyanese. My thinking is that such attitudes and behaviors do not give His Excellency’s ‘One Guyana’ a kick upstairs, and a long jump to glory. Since I spotlight the PPP’s black bag of tricks and its blacklist of people, then it would be fit and proper for me to direct attention to a certain hue of people who are honored for inclusion. I wonder how someone of my, ah, er, outlook and pigment figure in this blacklist in PPP thinking.
Thinking of this, I am excluding three great sons of this soil from this David Patterson no fly zone, travel caper. To their credit, I believe that President Ali and Prime Minister Phillips are outside these mischiefs. They may swiftly know, or suspect, by the process of elimination that most people inside their elbows and high offices are incapable of any such characteristically revolting action. But both also known that there are a few, one or two, in the middle of their offices, who are quite at home with the ugly and the malevolent, as occurred in l’affaire Patterson. If office is too broad, then try the Cabinet, which should make things simpler.
The third fine citizen and a faithful officer of the law in Guyana to whom I give a pass is the Top Cop (ag), Mr. Hicken. Somebody made a call to cooperating officials in the travel system to put the kibosh on Mr. Patterson’s movements, and it was done. Only a few people have the guile, and the ways and means, to attempt such a low trick in the imposition of this travel restriction. The problem is that Mr. Hicken has to take it on the chin for his misbehaving political brethren, and out of his mouth came that apology. It looked a little on the forced, uncomfortable, side to me, and with a couple artificial ingredients obvious. The problem is that the acting Top Cop’s apology fell on rocky ground: no graceful reception, no helpful traction. Though I don’t agree with Mr. Patterson often, on this one I am with him.
Now that Mr. Hicken has fallen on his sword, there is one hanging over the head of Dr. Anil Nandlall, chief constitutional authority in this law-abiding realm. This freedom of movement violation, clear and present and dangerous, is a minefield. I wonder if it is the precedent for other perversities from the rich minds of the PPP dirty tricks battalion. Though all of this is at work [is, not may be], Guyanese should not get carried away. The fix is already in, and I can predict the outcomes already after Counsel Hughes’s legal toils. With the right people in the right judicial place and with the right frame of mind, this boils down to this thin gravy. Some magisterial jawboning for the records from the high benches. A token sum to be rid of a nuisance matter that left some egg on the face of the PPP Government, which Mr. Hicken ran to the rescue and did his remedial works. And no big payday for David Patterson.
It is called the confluence of lawlessness and even more political unlawfulness. Indeed, Guyana is a land of men, and not the majesty of the law. Hear, hear, Dr. Nandlall.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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