I write regarding President Bharrat Jagdeo’s assertions on Sunday, as published in the March 4 issue of your newspaper, that one of the individuals involved in the “cocaine in pepper sauce” illicit narcotics trade is a financier of the AFC. It is clear that Mr Jagdeo’s assertions represent a desperate attempt by a desperate man to desperately change the subject. Why did Mr Jagdeo wait until now, when thousands of Guyanese have just learned that CLICO has squandered millions of their hard earned dollars on his watch to make these assertions? Is it because this recent CLICO revelation, coming on the heels of several other cases of massive financial fraud at the NIS and other financial institutions, again highlights the total incompetence of his government to protect the interests of the Guyanese people? Is it because a general election is due in two years in which his government will be held to account for its incompetence and corruption? Is it because neither he nor any other member of his government took any measures to protect the interests of the Guyanese people even as signs of this debacle were clearly evident? Is it because he feels compelled to resort to mud-slinging to distract his political opponents? If Mr Jagdeo has evidence to support his assertions, he should make that evidence public. He cannot use his public office to blackmail his political adversaries and simply walk away. I would have suggested that the AFC seek legal redress against him if it were not true, but the legal system is so thoroughly intimidated, one cannot be sure of receiving justice.
Moreover, illicit drug trafficking is a subject from which Mr Jagdeo should maintain some distance. One would think that he would refrain from accusing anyone of dealing with alleged illicit narcotics traffickers in light of the indicted drug runner Roger Khan’s assertions that he helped the government deal with crime, and the fact that Mr Khan was able to acquire electronic eavesdropping equipment that is only sold to governments. Further, Mr Jagdeo has been in office during the ascent of Guyana as a major transshipment point for illegal narcotics. His government’s response has been anaemic at best in addressing the scourge of drug use and trafficking that characterizes the nation presently. Mr Jagdeo’s assertions are simply a cheap political ploy that is beneath even him.