A meeting between loggers, farmers and Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, in Linden today has drawn the ire of Region Ten Chairman, Mortimer Mingo, who called it a way of “manufacturing” support for the PPP rally to be held close to the meeting site, a contention that was rejected by Persaud.
The farmers’ meeting is scheduled to be held at Burnham Drive in Wismar while the rally will be held on the same road, but a quarter of a mile away, Stabroek News was told. Persaud will commission the Region 10 Wood Drying Complex and interact with loggers, farmers and residents of Region 10 with the event scheduled to begin at 2 pm. The rally is set for 5 pm.
In a letter published in yesterday’s edition of this newspaper, Mingo wrote that the eve of what has been advertised as a major meeting by the PPP in Linden, “has brought illumination to several machinations by the government to present a show of support which is disingenuous at best.”
In an apparent reference to the farmers’ meeting, he said he was informed that “items are to be handed over to persons in the logging industry just a stone’s throw away from the location of the meeting, but strategically timed so that these persons, many of whom will no doubt hail from far-flung reaches both in and out of Region 10, will have no recourse but to remain for the political event to follow after this sham ‘presentation’, in effect creating a manufactured crowd of supporters on the back of the presentation of state resources to our residents.”
He labelled it a “detestable manipulation by the government of a state activity for political purposes” and accused the government of practicing “duplicity.”
However, Persaud said the event was planned long before the PPP planned its campaign. He pointed out that this is agriculture month and today as well, is World Food Day. “It has absolutely nothing to do with the PPP meeting,” he said adding that Mingo has been invited to speak at the farmers’ meeting.