Residents of Whim, Corentyne, Berbice, the hometown of Moses Nagamootoo, had mixed reaction yesterday as word spread about his resignation from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Some told Stabroek News that they were disappointed that he had left the party “because he served them for so long,” while others felt he “made the right decision.”
One man who did not support his move acknowledged that “everybody has a choice. Maybe he has a different view for the country and wants to make a change.”
A strong supporter of the PPP, the man would not disclose if Nagamootoo’s decision would influence him to leave the party. He said though that on elections day, he “would know what to do.”
Others said that they could not make a decision as yet because they “had to wait and see.” According to a housewife, she was surprised that Nagamootoo had left the party and felt that he should not have done that.
She noted that one major setback for the government is the lack of job opportunities in the area. She lamented that a relative who gained a few subjects at the recent CSEC examinations is still at home even after sending out several applications. In spite of that though, the woman said she would remain with the PPP. “Everything else is good; you have to do something before you get something – they have to invest money before they could build roads schools, hospitals and so for the country,” she said. “They also have to get money to pay the police and other workers…”
Some persons also said that it was “bothering” them a lot after they heard on an AFC programme on television that President Bharrat Jagdeo would earn a $3M monthly pension after demitting office. “That is terrible and we want to know if that is true because old age pension is from 65 years and it is just $7,500 monthly,” said one.
Nagamootoo’s relatives told Stabroek News that they would “support him 100% because we don’t like the way the PPP treated him.”
They said that even before he announced that he was leaving the PPP, they had already opted out about four months ago and were supporting the AFC. They said confidently that “the AFC is the best party for us now.”
His brother, Keeran Nagamootoo told this newspaper that he was “pleased because he left the party because of the circumstances that the PPP had him in.”
He explained that his brother “was supposed to be the first choice for the presidential candidate because he was a senior member who served the party since Cheddi Jagan time.”
According to him, he heard when “[late President] Cheddi [Jagan] said during two political meetings that Moses should be president… For this election instead of electing a candidate they selected one. That was not fair to him…”
He said too that during the time of Janet Jagan’s presidency and “when they had the last central committee meeting to elect a presidential candidate he had the most votes. But he went to study and Bharrat Jagdeo served as president.”
Nagamootoo did not influence his decision to leave the party. “When I asked him what to do, he told me I have a freedom of choice,” he said.
He disliked the way his brother was being treated by the PPP and said that the more experienced people and even some of the youths would be voting for the AFC.
“Quarter of the youths in the community don’t have jobs; they just drink, smoke and indulge in idle activities,” he added.
The man said that, “Being a minister of government [Local Government and Information] he should have been given a chance to be president.”
According to him, “Cheddi’s ideas for the PPP are different from what they have now. They have too much corruption and misuse of funds.”
Further, he said “just imagine we are producing sugar and we have to pay $120 per pound and if you don’t buy more goods the shop owners would hoard it [sugar].”
One woman said that she joined the Nagamootoo family 36 years ago and always knew him as a “die-hard PPP man and a favourite of Cheddi Jagan.”
She recalled his struggles with the party and said “they [opposition] dragged him with horse and threw him in jail because of the party [PPP]….”