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The letter published in the Kaieteur News titled “We must be unified to get the best benefits from oil,” written by GHK Lall, is perhaps of the greatest significance at this junction.
If the Editors of all the other media print, radio and television can be persuaded, the sentiments so eloquently and timely expressed should be made available to Guyanese of every age, race or class. I make a fervent plea, the sentiments expressed in that letter be given widest publicity, hoping and praying that our political leaders be persuaded, follow this path of good sense, showing perspicacity and genuine nationalism.
Today we still have stubborn politicians on every side of our political divide. We fail to realize that only unity will allow us and succeeding generations to benefit from our enormous natural resources. If our political leaders feel that we can procrastinate on the question of constitutional reform, then let them enjoy the luxury of lengthy complex discussions. Oil and gas is new and it would be unfortunate if it becomes the source for a tit for tat situation, where we seem to heading.
In small countries, oil and gas if not handled skillfully, instead of being a benefit can soon become a burden. Instead of cashiering people, left, right and centre, if we are truly interested in Guyana, high ranking groups representing our main political groupings should sit down and agree on a menu of measures to deal with the oil sector.
This will first signal to the oil giants that whichever Party or groups of Parties cross the winning election line first, that the petroleum extracting conglomerates would understand that they have to satisfy exact conditions and result of a consensus reached by our political players. This menu of measures must be a public document so that whoever is the Minister or Agency dealing with the oil giants, that the latter will know that Guyana comes first and that there will be no opportunity for back-biting, propaganda and under the table deals.
Mature Statesmen must avoid this behavior, which says that whatever the other party did was wrong. You cannot afford to traverse this path of shared stupidity for our children will curse us, when the oil dries up and we have little to show, for the billions earned. This is a serious matter, and I hope that sufficient wisdom and genuine patriotism exists, that will grant to our years, the vision to unite on this new industry.
The Parties in Guyana can continue to squabble and scream over who is responsible for Covid-19 deaths and if some find satisfaction in witch hunting and persecuting the ‘other’ people, let us remember the ‘night of the long knives.’ However, since oil is new, let’s follow and adopt the sane and sensible path contained in GHK Lall’s letter published on Saturday, as noted above.