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There is the popular saying ‘different strokes for different folks.’
This came to mind when I read the very spirited letter published in Kaieteur News of June 3, 2021 titled “There needs to be a Commission of Inquiry into what took place during the Elections” written by Andrew Budram.
The letter constituted an attack on sections of the Guyana Police Force and GECOM, which inferentially includes the Chairman.
The tone of the letter is similar to what we have been hearing and reading for several months.
It is not my want at this stage to defend anyone accused of improprieties related to our 2020 Election but feel at liberty to note how those persons and others have been tried and convicted at the bar of public opinion.
On the issue of the Commission of Inquiry, in every free democratic society such commissions are welcomed and sometimes necessary.
However, before and after Independence they have tended to focus on the perceived disadvantage of one or other of our ethnic, social and religious groups in our multi-cultural society.
I recall after Independence how much pressure was applied on the International Commission of Jurist (ICJ) to examine the alleged imbalance in the security forces.
That condition of course, has nothing to do with discrimination but the proclivities and personal preferences, as a result of our colonial past.
When strident calls were made to redress the imbalance of the security forces, the same voices were silent when an examination was suggested for a similar commission to examine the noticeable imbalance with respect to the allocation of lands in our land development schemes and the handling of licences of imports and exports, etc.
These are old issues but ought not to be swept under the carpet.
With respect to this recent call for a COI, the Police have already taken action by charging certain persons and we should await the judgement of our Court.
As for GECOM, we all seem to have forgotten the 2015 Gocool Boodhoo saga and how the Justice for All Party lost its seat in Region # 10.
It is clear that as a people, we are ignoring the information that came out of the recount.
With regard to 2020 Election, when the Returning Officer for Region #1 failed to account for the absence of vital documents, he simply said ‘a lef deh wuk.’
We have heard of no further action.
We have yet to unravel the mysterious disappearance of vital documents in several ballot boxes during the recount process.
Beyond that, I am among those who before the date of Elections 2020 was fixed, openly expressed a concern that we are going into an election with a list that all sides knew to be an imperfect one.
But, this is what we did.
Then we had the robust statements by Mike Pompeo to tell Mr. Granger to step aside. Some applauded.
In a free open society that was his right. In like manner, it is my right to ask those who applauded Pompeo if they lost their voices when he failed to advise President Donald Trump to step aside.
But the philosophy in Guyana today is clearly different strokes for different folks.
My worry is, this propaganda blitz, this effort at persecuting and prosecuting certain people seems inconsistent with statements about One Guyana.
When I first heard the call for One Guyana, I assumed that it would be supported by something like a truth commission, compassion and to ask all sides to practice what the Holy Book require, some form of forgiveness and dialogue.
We are not part of the society comprising of one group being Saints and the other group being sinners.
We have all come short of the glory of God.
Let us face this truism.
As I observed earlier, Jesus of Nazareth told the crowd gathered to stone the woman who had sinned –‘Ye who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Not a man could move.
This is what I say to all of us and I emphasize us, who have walked the corridors of governance at one level or the other.
If this venom and mode of persecution continues, we are unlikely to heal a bleeding nation and our children’s children will curse us for missing a golden opportunity today to mend and not rend.
Finally, the tragedy of our situation is this; that while we continue this assault on each other the elements of imperial domination and neo-colonialism are evident to those who are perceptive.