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According to media reports, and reactions from the Opposition, agents of the PPP Government went to a PNC office in Region Nine and “dismantled” the building. Materials were taken away, and some other items cannot be accounted for at this time. The word from the Government side is that the property at issue (land, building) is owned by the State. From the PNC, the claim is that the party is the owner. I look at what occurred under the cover of darkness, absorb what has since made rounds in public by both sides, and take this position.
For sake of this presentation only, let’s say that I accept what the PPP Government put out, namely, that the State is the owner, hence controller. Next, I go in the other direction, and buy-in to the idea that the PNC is not the owner of anything -building or land, despite its claims. Thus, it was a squatter of decades long vintage. An illegal one. As to why such status (if it is, indeed, so) was not taken care of during the party’s 28 years in office, is beyond the boundaries of this search for understanding, for a sense of the Government’s direction and objective. I will also bypass the fact that the PPP Government did nothing during its first 23 years in office to change what was in operation at the PNC office in Region Nine.
In other words, and in sum, what I am attempting to do is to give the PPP Government of today every ground on which its action(s) can be reasoned, even justified. Now, I have a serious problem, a couple of them, notwithstanding all that I just said, inclusive of each context.
For a government, any government, this PPP Government, to turnup shortly after midnight at an address in Guyana, and proceed to do what was done, raises all kinds of alarms and fears. In the event that the title is as said (the PPP’s version), then I think that the same action could have been executed during daylight hours. Why was this not so? It is neither healthy nor security inducing for agents of the State to be prowling around, with whatever objectives in mind, under the cover of darkness. The national Government is not a thief, a kickdown-the-door bandit, an armed gang of goons and thugs. The PPP Government has the requisite power, it has the authority of the State in its hands (maybe not the legal right) to proceed on matters in a manner that, though contrary or found hostile and objectionable by segments of the population, still must be executed. By the stealth of night and the use of Venezuelans (as carried in some outlets) are not how elected governments should carry themselves. As an aside, and given its prior association with now notorious crimefighters, one would hope that the PPP did not sink so low as to recruit members of the Syndicato posse to do some dirty work for it at the PNC office.
I wonder of the PNC office was looked upon as enemy territory, with a nocturnal ambush the sole remaining option in hand. Some may make the argument that the Government wished to avoid a scene, a confrontation, and interference with its claimed legitimate efforts. Whether the hours of scoundrels and streetwalkers and sickos were chosen to avoid escalation and deterioration in the sunlight, should not matter to Guyanese. What matters is that our national government is comfortable functioning in this way. If the PPP can be at home doing this to a longstanding PNC office, then there is no telling what, where (and who) else its schemers have in mind for future coercive action. To put differently, men with no regard for the niceties of law and inconveniences of standards considered to be nuisances can intrude upon the peace and wellbeing of ordinary citizen. In any yard. On any doorstep.
This fact must be faced, regardless of how it comes across. The PNC in the sum of its far-reaching sinews is not to be categorized as an ordinary presence. It is a national political party that has a following of a major segment of Guyana’s electorate. Some say as close to 50% as one could get, should all factors be assessed and incorporated. Therefore, for its office in Region Nine to be subject to what occurred is courting with disaster. Not just for the PPP as a group, or the government, but for all citizens. One leading PNC spokesperson has planted a stake in the ground calling what happened a “declaration of war.” Let’s hope that for the ambience of this nation, what he spoke of is war in the battlefields of jurisprudence.
I caution all of my fellow Guyanese, that these ongoing intrusions, invasions, and excursions by the PPP Government have the potential to flare into the uncontrollable. I don’t know, would hope, that the Government is not pushing to ascertain how much it could get away with; or if it really seeks a confrontation towards a conflagration. May it not be so, and simply that a few men got reckless because they are thoughtless.
Last, I fail to see, or appreciate, how we can ever talk about ‘One Guyana’ or one of anything, when we have a government that is the author of these actions, be they legally covered or not.