CoI to investigate the investigator is sinister

Dear Editor,
Since the APNU regime took power — just over two years ago — it has established a slew of Commissions of Inquiry (CoIs). Those CoIs have cost the Guyanese taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. A lot of the time, the regime just ignores the recommendations of its CoIs.
One that has recently been established is of great interest. This is a CoI to investigate the police, to see if the Guyana Police Force (GPF) had properly investigated the ‘threat’ to assassinate the President.
Almost all Guyanese believe that this was a major hoax, and the President was never near to being assassinated.
Indeed, it had appeared that that matter was done with. All of a sudden we hear of the establishment of this CoI.
The question that comes to mind is: Why is this new CoI necessary? What is the motive behind this?
Mr Anil Nandlall, in his writing on the subject, noted that a lot of these CoIs are established to give jobs to friends of the APNU. They pay the chairpersons and these Commission members handsomely.
Nandlall also pointed out that most of these CoIs are unnecessary, since it is a function of Government to carry out a lot of the work now farmed out to CoIs.
This one that is set up to investigate the investigators is sinister. While it may fulfil the other requirement of giving jobs to the boys, it is also to be used as an excuse to make some changes in the Police Force.  It is to get rid of professional officers and replace them with PNC/APNU stooges, people who are prepared to be used as instruments of PNC/APNU for their own political purposes.
The question: whom do they want to target is the big issue.
It could be more than one person in pursuit of their policy of racial and political discrimination.
The whispers suggest that Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud could be the target. That may not be totally true. Mr Seelall Persaud is expected to retire in the not-too-distant future, so they could wait him out.
However, he would not be unaffected by a negative report, since he is in charge of the Police Force. Any findings of neglect would stain his record. This could be part of their plan, as they have done with Mr James Singh of CANU.
It may be they are not inclined to appoint either of the two men who are most qualified for the job of Commissioner to replace Mr Seelall Persaud. These are Mr David Ramnarine and Mr Clifton Hicken.  Both are competent and efficient officers.
Ramnarine has displayed a strong, independent streak. Recall his public pronouncement about the lack of money during the 2011 elections, even though the PPP/C Administration had released millions to the Force for the purpose of ensuring all the necessary resources were in place for the smooth functioning of the elections.
Implicit in his remarks was a strong accusation of then Police Commissioner Henry Greene.
While the PPP/C Administration did not discriminate because of people’s opinion, this PNC/APNU regime is different. Its members do not like officers who display any independence of thought and persons willing to stand up to authority for what is right.
Ramnarine could very well be a target for this regime, to ensure that he does not occupy the top post. His strong independence is a negative for this regime.
Mr Clifton Hicken has displayed a strong, professional position over the years. He has stood bravely to uphold law and order. He has been a no-nonsense officer. His record as Commander of ‘A’ Division is a very impressive one. During his time there, we saw a reduction in crimes in that Division.
There are two things this PNC/APNU regime doesn’t like about Hicken. The first is his strong stance against the criminals. APNU/PNC has historically had very close relations with criminals. This strength of Hicken could very well work against him now that APNU is in power.
The second was his stance at Linden. Even though the Commission of Inquiry exonerated Mr Hicken of any wrongdoing, that does not mean that PNC/APNU feels the same way. Its members’ intention was to get the Linden issue to escalate, and Hicken was the officer who stood up to their racial and diabolical plans.
Another officer who is displaying great capacity is the young Crime Chief Mr Wendell Blanhum.
Under Blanhum’s watch, most of the big crimes are so far being solved. He is now also turning his attention to the cold cases, and many are worried that he would get them solved.
Blanhum has so far displayed great professionalism in his work. He is young and very bright, and is making a big difference in the fight against crime.
Those qualities that have allowed him to rise in the Force are not qualities this regime likes. As mentioned above, they want ‘yes’ men and persons who would compromise professionalism for PNC/APNU political end.
This attitude of the APNU/PNC is reflected in what many persons are talking about. One very senior government minister and high official of the PNC is reported to have said in the corridors of the Court something to the effect that “we (APNU) appoint them, they got to rule in our favour.”
This seemingly useless CoI to investigate whether the police had properly investigated the ‘threat’ to the President’s life could turn out very damaging.

Donald Ramotar
Former President