A gospel concert headlined by internationally acclaimed artiste William McDowell on Saturday night, took an interesting turn when President Bharrat Jagdeo “recommitted” the nation to God. He was later joined on stage by AFC Leader Raphael Trotman and the two apologized for any wrong they had done to the other.
Several hundreds had gathered at the National Park tarmac for the event featuring the US based-singer. The concert was sponsored by the Love and Faith World Outreach Ministries.
McDowell had performed for about half an hour when he took a break and the Pastor of Love and Faith church Rev Claude Brooks came on stage. Brooks explained that the President had been extremely warm to McDowell and had hosted the singer and some of the organizers at State House earlier in the day. After elaborating on the importance of leaders in God’s external plan for a country, Brooks invited Jagdeo to recommit the nation to God.
“I can’t sing but I can say praise the Lord,” was how Jagdeo greeted the crowd, which went wild. He then welcomed McDowell and his team, saying that the singer was not only someone of international reputation but one who had the ability to touch souls.
“Pastor Brooks asked me give back our country to God, tonight as President. And I was thinking as I walked to the stage, how can I give back to someone this country that already belongs to him?” Jagdeo asked. Guyana, Jagdeo declared, is a country where most of the people believe in God.
“I promise that we as a nation will recommit ourselves to the worship and love of God. And to ensure we live in a way that is respectful to his commandments,” Jagdeo said, to a massive cheer from the audience.
The Head of State called on Guyanese to fall in love with the country. “Tonight I urge that we fall in love with our country again, that we rediscover our spirituality,” the President said.
“We are all children of God,” Jagdeo he continued, while calling for a new Guyanese identity.
Jagdeo said that this was not something just for the ordinary citizen. It was not votes alone that had gotten him the presidency, he continued, going on to say that the Bible teaches that God raises up leaders. “I expressed the hope that Trotman and [Robert] Corbin will join me up here and say the same thing to our people.” Trotman, who was instrumental in bringing McDowell to Guyana, was then called to the stage by Jagdeo.
“What is common in Raphael Trotman and me? He is my brother. We all share Guyanese blood. The love of God will always remain, love for our country. I am Guyanese before I am PPP,” Jagdeo said.
When Jagdeo handed the microphone to Trotman, the AFC Leader also committed the nation to God and then apologized to the President. “I ask God to cancel any ill thing or anything I would have said and done to you. And I forgive you for anything you would have said and done against me,” Trotman said.
Seemingly put on the spot by Trotman’s statement, the President also apologized. “I also say the same thing. And I forgive you for anything you have said against me,” Jagdeo said as sections of the crowd applauded loudly.
Afterwards, a pastor prayed and delivered a blessing in Hebrew. Then McDowell returned to continue singing. “Our eyes just witnessed a miracle which only God can do,” McDowell said.
Some members of the audience, though, were upset at what they thought was the politicizing of the gospel concert. Questioned later on this, Trotman said that all the major political leaders in the country were invited.
He said that he did not make the decision to let Jagdeo speak nor was he aware that the President was going to call him on stage. Trotman said he spoke from his heart and felt that was what God wanted him to say.