Solomon accused of not following directives

RBI Secretary  Sharma Soloman
RBI Secretary
Sharma Soloman

Region 10 television station saga

A number of leaders in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) have lashed out at Secretary of the Region 10 Broadcasting Inc (RBI), noting that he is going against directives issued by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on the way forward for the Linden television station.

During a press conference on Monday, Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira, Councillor Sandra Adams and newly elected Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland all refuted alleged claims by Sharma Solomon that they were stalling the process of the television station. Morian, Adams and Figueira were part of a recent stakeholders meeting with Solomon and the Prime Minister, who indicated that Solomon was going against certain principles established. Morian said he (Solomon) was involved in the meeting and asked several questions, including “Why were the negotiations (of the television station) not done with the new Administration?”

Morian added that the Prime Minister then gave clear-cut directives on what is to be done, noting that the PM’s directives were not followed.

MP Jermaine Figueira
MP Jermaine Figueira

“We will meet, chose our people and we’re going to move forward… I am following the directive of the Prime Minister, as I said Mr Solomon don’t run broadcasting in Guyana, it’s managed by a Prime Minister… so what Mr Solomon is saying attempts to contradict what the Prime Minister said,” Morian noted.

In response to Solomon stating that present infighting is causing the station not to move forward, and it is expected that matters be settled by April 8, Figueira refuted this, noting that the elected people of Linden have not been given a fair chance.

 “It should be from the onset known that it is not our intention to stall any process, we are in support of us having a television station and we must also make it known that we applaud Mr Solomon’s efforts in regards to leading the way forward in us getting the television station, but it is important for us to acknowledge that what the Chairman said, we have a change in Administration, it is only fit that those changes be reflective in how we proceed in going ahead with this television station… I believe prudence dictate that the elective representatives must have an integral role with regards to how we pilot the way forward,” he said.

Regional Chairman Renis Morian
Regional Chairman Renis Morian

With regards to the Prime Minister’s directives, Figueira said Nagamootoo would have made few revelations of which the public was not cognisant of. This, he said, included the opinion that the setting up of the Trust is not in actuality a true reflection of ownership by the people of Region 10 and that it was owned by a small group of people.  He said another directive was also given for a collective meeting to be held where the documents of the Trust will be shared with elected representatives and all stakeholders who were present; however, that document was only received on Friday last. He contended that it‘s unfair to say that they are stalling in regards to the station since it was not known what would have been contained in the document. The contents of the document, he said is also “shocking”, adding that time should be given to peruse it. As such, he said a few more days should be given to do so.

“And he would have also said if push comes to shove where this thing is to be sold, the people of Region 10 will not have a say if it can be sold or not. So we’re saying that as elected representatives of the people it is important for us to involve the representative of the people as well as key stakeholders of the community to decide on the way forward.”

Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland
Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland

Adams said while she applauded the efforts of those initially involved, there was always a fight in terms of the Linden television station in times past. The move to have the station back as a community one, she said, was a push in the right direction. However, echoing similar sentiments, she said the Prime Minister’s directive was not followed by Solomon and the RBI in terms of timing. Adams said it was clear that the Government made a promise to give back the station to Linden within a hundred days of it being in power and not to a few people.

“Recently we noted that it is not going in the direction where the people can truly say it belongs to them… my argument today is let’s not get confused about who fought for the station… What’s the rush to have a Committee formed? And not in the right way again… but we intend not to focus on the rush. We’re going to do it the way the PM asked for it to be done… Linden does not intend to fight it’s own Government…,” she said.

Adams said Prime Minister Nagamotoo would have advised that that the Trust is extended by at least 10 more people chosen by the RDC, Mayor and Town Council and the Kwakwani Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).

She also made calls for the parties involved to sit at the bargaining table to consult and do it “correctly”.