Home Letters GL&SC press conference was nothing else but a decoy
Obfuscation surrounds the statement from the Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Mr Trevor Benn, who at a press conference on Friday assured the nation that he was not personally involved in any corrupt land transactions. But is that the point? Former President Bharrat Jagdeo highlighted some serious issues with regards to the mad haste to transfer State lands using the machinery of the GL&SC after the passage of the No-Confidence Motion on December 21, 2018. His statements are principally against the political influence on the leadership of the GL&SC and how it is being used to allow people who are using their official positions to influence personal gains for themselves. Transparency International defines such a practice plainly and simply – corruption. The person Mr Jagdeo seems to be holding singularly accountable for the state of affairs on these shady land transfers is Mr Granger. So I see no reason for Mr Benn to get hot under the collar.
At best, Mr Benn should have come with his maps, his dates and his facts to help Mr Granger prove Mr Jagdeo incorrect and this he did not do. Rather, he totally skirts around the crux of the matter in a clandestine effort to play down and distort what Mr Jagdeo is saying. And for dessert, he took the opportunity to inject politics into the matter which unfortunately placed Mr Benn in a political position. Is Mr Benn, who was a former senior leader in the YSM, the youth arm of the PNC, reverting to his old role and has he decided to throw professionalism to the wind?
It is extremely important to this nation that Mr Benn refute all of these claims by Mr Jagdeo factually, item by item in a surgical fashion. Nothing else but countering evidence-based facts will remove the perception now that the decision-making process at the GL&SC is corrupt. So this smokescreen of calling in the police is not helping Mr Benn, rather it illustrates a feature in many Governments of Guyana when caught in a corruption probe, they put on their battle fatigues and in the most gruesome fashion, commences a cover-up operation by blaming all and sundry but themselves for the financial and administrative skulduggery unearthed. So if Mr Benn wants to help Mr Granger, he better get down to work or shut up.
In the final analysis, Mr Benn’s press conference was nothing else but a decoy that causes the facts to be lost in a scramble to get his points over without competently addressing the issues raised by Mr Jagdeo. It is unfortunately that Mr Jagdeo’s information had to be met with disinformation by Mr Benn since Guyana is now forced to choose sides based on the information in the public domain and from the way it is being assessed, Mr Jagdeo’s information with his maps and dates is more authentic than Mr Benn, who came to the press conference totally unprepared.
I expected better from Mr Benn.