It is still possible for ex-President Jagdeo to leave a positive legacy to the nation which he served so articulately these last ten years. One cloud which seems to threaten his good name is the controversy over his pension. May I proffer through you a solution fit for a Champion of the Earth?
Let him commit all the cash portion of the ex-presidential pension to the funds of a new NGO, the Jagdeo Foundation, dedicated to research and promotion of the LCDS and other conservation initiatives against global warming. Let him agree to use the non-cash pension benefits, including staff and travel costs, to assist him in his management of the Foundation, under a Board of Trustees appointed by an all-party committee of the National Assembly, following the passage of an Act establishing the Foundation for legally binding objectives agreed through public discussion.
Those who object to the high emoluments will surely approve their use in a cause so ably expounded by Mr Jagdeo. Such a Foundation will give continued outlet to his deeply held convictions about the future of Guyana and its leadership in matters affecting the whole planet. He will thereby be assured of a public image, local and international, befitting ambitions quite beyond the presidency of a small poor country. Such idealism and sustained self-sacrifice can be an example to even the most dubious of his current detractors, and he will stand to gain personal goodwill and trust which will inspire himself and others in serving a high purpose.
To be sure the ex-presidential pension, though in such contrast to average Guyanese earnings, does not represent a large input for such an ambitious mission. He may find ways to supplement his Foundation’s endowment, for instance the use as headquarters of his new house at Sparendaam. The initial investment through Mr Jagdeo’s noble gesture will surely be soon parlayed into worthwhile sums that can support catalytic actions against climate change and degradation of nature.
Who better than Mr Jagdeo to propose measures that can, through the widest consultation, stimulate national and international measures to make a difference to the whole world.