When people are united they have more power than the government
I am relieved, to say the least, that an agreement has been reached between the Ramotar administration and representatives of Linden on the electricity tariff issue, as well as other social and economic revitalization factors. But I must admit that it did not happen without the literal blood, sweat and tears of Lindeners who surprised the nation and overseas Guyanese with their resilience and tenacity as they stood up unarmed to the might of the establishment and refused to blink.
There are so many lessons in this for Guyanese going forward, the chief of which is that when people are united they have more power than the government. Given the history of the PPP to make and break promises at will, I had hoped that after the Friday 10th Joint Services actions in Linden and the regime’s postponement of a scheduled meeting with Linden representatives that same day, it may be necessary to hand over the negotiations to a parliamentary committee to ensure the administration is legally bound to any agreement reached. Thankfully, the agreement resulted in confirmation of the suspension of the electricity tariff pending the outcome of a comprehensive review by a bipartisan seven-member committee, the formulation of economic proposals for development of the once bauxite-dependent town, the return of a TV station that had been donated to the region by Green Construction Company, the liberalization of the broadcast spectrum to allow for private television stations and the creation of a representative Regional Land Selection Committee. And all of this happened as a result of an ill-advised and vindictive decision by the PPP regime that led to a five-day protest that turned deadly violent and was extended to almost one month. In short, because Lindeners stood up for one thing, they ended up with several things. They accomplished in one month what was not accomplished in 20 years. But the game is not over because the agreement was reached; the groundwork is still to be done, including making sure the PPP is held accountable and responsible throughout the process.
As a Lindener who left Guyana in 1988, I don’t know who Mr Sharma Solomon is, but he has distinguished himself as a true leader. With the right guidance and support, he can rise to national leadership levels. I pray for his longevity and that he excels as a wise man, regardless of any weakness or failing, for no one is perfect. I don’t even think that a comment on the President’s visit to Linden, two days short of the ‘one-month anniversary’ of the fatal and injurious shootings of unarmed Lindeners by members of the police force, is worth my time, because judging from the turnout by Lindeners, his belated visit itself manifested terrible advice from those around him, replicating the bad advice he received when he decided to announce the reduction in the electricity subsidy, only to now back up and make way for a technical team. I said before and repeat: President Ramotar has absolutely no top flight executive leadership skills, and clearly has never successfully led or managed a major entity with thousands of employees or even successfully dealt with a major crisis management issue of this nature. In fact, because he flopped as a GuySuCo board member and leader of the PPP, he really needed to surround himself with people whose resumés reflect experience in leadership of top management positions from the business community. The holdover advisors and cabinet members from the Jagdeo era whose advice, or lack of it, has contributed to the mess President Ramotar inherited will continue to be a drag on his already lagging presidency unless he makes a clean break and very quickly.