VP Bharrat Jagdeo really is a nightmare for some people. One MP has even been practising how to stab him. A certain columnist appears not to be able to sleep at nights for thinking about the VP.
This certain columnist, who will remain nameless in this column, on a daily basis, mercilessly and savagely attacks the Government, with particular venom for VP Bharrat Jagdeo. He often resorts to the vilest personal attacks, calling the VP names reserved for the vilest of human beings. In the last two or three weeks, the attacks have been particularly vitriolic, and the newspaper that publishes these vulgar attacks is abrogating its responsibility within the free speech realm of ensuring decency, fairness, integrity and dignity.
VP Bharrat Jagdeo was asked to comment on these attacks during one of his recent press conferences. The VP reluctantly responded that he is not in any way intimidated or concerned about the personalised attacks, because it is coming from someone who has no credibility, no following in Guyana, and who makes claims of personal accomplishments that only he sings praises over. This particular columnist’s morbidly obese ego convinces him that he can bamboozle the Guyanese public; even though, by and large, they have unequivocally ignored his rantings as that of a man consumed by hate.
But the fact that the media got VP Jagdeo to allocate valuable minutes to briefly accord him his “15 seconds in the limelight” has really miffed the “thin-skinned” columnist. He has gone berserk, and his invective and foul language to describe VP Jagdeo has gone from vile to abhorrent and contemptible.
The same columnist has been on a perpetual rant against EXXON and Bharrat Jagdeo since August 2020. For him, EXXON is the worst capitalist exploiter ever, and VP Jagdeo is the chief local sellout in the pocket of EXXON. He completely ignores that the EXXON deal was signed in 2016 when VP Jagdeo was the Leader of the Opposition, and Raphael Trotman, the columnist’s former boss, was Minister of Natural Resources; and his friends, like David Granger and others, were in charge of the PNC/APNU/AFC Government that signed this infamous deal that we all agreed was not the best deal for Guyana.
He is one of the dishonest, reprehensible Guyanese who, before August 2020, believed the deal was the best possible deal that Guyana could have negotiated. There was never one instance when he was publicly critical of the EXXON deal before 2020 August. For this dishonest columnist, everything about the deal: the royalty, the profit-sharing arrangements, tax provisions, ring-fencing, signing bonus, flaring provisions, etc., was the best possible deal with EXXON, as long as the PNC-led coalition was in charge. Because the well-planned rigging of the elections did not materialise, and the columnist’s friends and benefactors lost power, he has now heaped the flaws and missteps at the feet of Bharrat Jagdeo, demanding that the VP MUST correct the wrongs his friends did.
It is the PPP Government that is optimizing returns from a bad deal while maintaining global credibility and positing Guyana as a law-abiding state holding strong to international contract laws.
While the brazen columnist waxes lyrical daily within the bosom of a free press, courtesy of a democratic Government, he daily lashes out at the Government for incompetent governance. But he was, between 2015 and 2020, an integral part of those who were the custodians of Guyana’s gold reserves, which stood at about $25B in the Bank of Guyana. By 2020, the gold reserves had dwindled to almost nothing. This know-it-all columnist takes no responsibility.
He never once saw anything wrong when, under his friends in APNU/AFC, the Bank currency reserve, which was about $81B in 2015, had miraculously morphed into an overdraft of about $148B by 2020; when a US$30M loan was taken by NICIL for GuySuCo but was barely used to support GuySuCo; when that Government spent out most of the EXIM Bank of India’s US$54M that was supposed to improve the infrastructure of the health sector, but there was nothing to show for it by 2020; when they rented an old house at about $15M per month to store some condoms and some obsolete equipment; when they bought $96M worth of medicines for more than $600M; and when they kept spending millions for multiple feasibility studies for the Demerara River Bridge, but not a grain of sand was poured for the bridge, which is only now taking shape under the PPP.
It is unfair to blame VP Bharrat Jagdeo for these examples of colossal bad governance, and that is precisely the point: President Irfaan Ali, VP Jagdeo and the PPP Government were not responsible for the “bad” EXXON deal, a deal they inherited and are trying to ensure Guyana gets as much as it could from it. But if, just because they replaced the columnist’s friends, VP Jagdeo and his colleagues could be blamed for something they were not remotely near to, then by the same token, the columnists could be blamed for what the Government he supported did.
What is “good for the goose must be good for the gander”.
VP Bharrat Jagdeo is never shy about saying what he thinks. For those of us who choose to publicly criticize others, whether they deserve it or not, we must learn to be “thick-skinned”. Those whom we attack and those we are critical of will often respond. This cowardly columnist wants to dish it out, but vehemently protests when he is on the receiving end, as if he never heard that “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.