The hypocrisy is stifling. Joe Harmon, the Leader of the Opposition, is calling on Government to swiftly transfer Linden TV to the people of Linden. This brazen, shameless man sat at the right hand of President David Granger for five years, and was the mover and shaker in the APNU/AFC Government for five years. APNU/AFC deliberately stifled the transfer of the Linden TV to Region 10. They did everything to stop the transfer. Moses Nagamootoo, the then Prime Minister, went to Linden and promised that the transfer would be done in a matter of weeks. During a walkabout in Linden in August 2016, more than a year after APNU/AFC took control of the Government, Nagamootoo declared that the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority stood ready to grant a licence for Linden TV to operate as Channel 13, an independent TV station outside of the control of NCN.
He had said that, within weeks, the TV station would be transferred to the people of Linden. His excuse then for not immediately making the transfer was that the Government could not hand over the TV station, and that the National Broadcasting Authority could not grant a licence to the “people of Region 10″; he declared then that the licence and the transfer of the station had to be to a “company”. Region 10 had established a trust consisting of five persons to own and operate the TV station on behalf of Region 10. Nagamootoo, speaking for the APNU/AFC Government, said the trust had to have at least 15 members, but it had only five. In August 2016, Nagamootoo said the new “company” would be established within “two weeks”. In August 2020, when they finally conceded that they had lost the elections, after an intense, ugly, five- month electoral theft attempt, it was a full four years since he promised. Yes, it was more than 200 weeks. They showed no respect for the people who supported them almost unanimously in 2015. That the unanimous support they received in 2015 showed cracks in the March 2020 elections is therefore not shocking.
APNU/AFC had promised the people they would transfer the NCN Linden station to the people of Region 10. They made that unequivocal promise before the 2015 election, and afterwards for five years while in Government. Nagamootoo’s promise was not the only promise made. Every time a leader of APNU/AFC visited Linden, he or she made that promise. After many renewed promises during the Granger-led APNU/AFC term in office, between 2015 and 2020, they played games and never transferred the TV station to Linden and Region 10. They never intended to. Having always planned to thief the 2020 elections, they never envisaged they would have been out of Government. Simply put, they lied to Lindeners from day 1.
Now Joe Harmon is making excuses. He said they had actually been doing the transfer but there was a sloth in the paperwork. Really?! This same APNU/AFC Government, weeks before the March 2020 elections, signed a more-than-$800M contract with BK to build a school, hastily signing just before the elections at a sum twice the engineer’s estimate. They proved they could complete paperwork with ugly haste, within weeks, to grant their friends and donors huge contracts. For their friends, they signed away large tracts of valuable real estate in various parts of the country, including where the deep- water harbor and the oil refinery may be located. But for their supporters in Linden and Region 10, even five years was not enough.
Now they are demanding that the PPP must complete what they promised and never even tried doing.
It is total disrespect to now plead with the people of Region 10, trying to persuade them they did try to deliver on the promise, but that the five years were inadequate to complete the paperwork to enact the transfer. But this disrespect and uncaring attitude to their supporters was most glaring throughout the five years. When they charged a fee for their own supporters to take a picture with a cardboard image of the “Dear” Leader, David Granger, at the Golden Grove election rally in February 2020, the disrespect was not only very visible, but was ugly.
Contrast that with Irfaan Ali and Bharrat Jagdeo, who took thousands of pictures with anyone who attended PPP rallies. Up to today, anywhere these PPP leaders go, people take pictures with them. But right in front of our eyes at this very critical moment, we see that the PNC leaders (this include those in the AFC) have taken their vaccines, protecting themselves, but not encouraging people, especially their own supporters, to take the vaccine. It is ugly and reprehensible that none of the PNC leaders have come out and urge their supporters to take the vaccine. This is how much they care for people. If a political party will remain silent on a matter that is life and death for people, including their own supporters, what really does that say about these leaders? It says they could not care less. The supporters of the PNC (APNU/AFC) must not excuse such dotishness from dotards who disrespect them. In turn, people should simply turn their backs on these leaders.