In their letter captioned “APNU can solve the county’s problems and restore its pride” (Kaieteur News of October 23, 2012) Dr. Asquith Rose and his new sidekick, Chandra Deolall, write “To understand why Brigadier David Granger is the right person to lead Guyana into the future, one just has to look at what took place under the PPP regime in the past twelve years. Granger who was head of the GDF for a number of years has the experience and knowledge to become a far better President than the fly by night economist from Patrice Lumumba University. Granger has the security experience to solve crime and the decency to wipe out corruption. Those who know Granger know that his no-nonsense approach to politics coupled with his flawless character will not allow him to tolerate any type of corruption or crookedness. He is a dignified human being.”
Now, before I proceed, let me state clearly and emphatically that my letter is not intended to question the experience and leadership qualities of Mr. Granger. What I do question is the judgement of Dr. Rose as stated above and how this contrasts with his decision at the last election to support, not the party (APNU) led by Mr. Granger but the one (AFC) led by Mr. Ramjattan. In 2011, Mr. Granger was not running against the “fly by night economist from Patrice Lumumba University” who headed the Government for most of the past twelve years, yet the record would show that Dr. Rose chose not to support Mr. Granger, despite his experience, knowledge and leadership qualities.
Dr. Rose seems to have had an epiphany recently in recognizing Mr. Granger’s leadership capabilities and he has jumped ship, figuratively speaking, leaving the AFC in midstream. There is nothing wrong with that; however, I wonder what will Dr. Rose tell those many Guyanese who, on account of his persuasion at the 2011 election, voted for the AFC. Their votes have been cast and they now have to live with the decisions of the AFC until the next election whenever it is held, irrespective of how well or how poorly the AFC represents their interest. They do not have the luxury of switching their casted their votes in the way that Dr. Rose has switched political allegiance.
Further, in their letter, Rose and Deolall state “It is an indisputable fact that the PNC is responsible for the construction of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, the Canje Bridge, the Soesdyke-Lynden highway, the Corentyne highway, the widening of the East Coast highway to Plaisance (Rupert Craig highway) the UG Campus at Turkeyen, the President’s College, Critchlow Labour College, Guyana School of Agriculture, the National Cultural Centre, the National Park, and the Presidential Complex among others. The PNC also provided free university education at UG and established the Caribbean regional exam-CXC, the National Service, and four new municipalities at Corriverton, Rose Hall Town, Linden, and Anna Regina. The trump card of the PNC achievements was the establishment of CARIFTA in 1973, the forerunner of CARICOM. No one in his right mind can deny the success of the PNC.”
I will not quibble over these facts as outlined by the esteemed professor and his co-author. However, from my recollection, these successes of the PNC were achieved before 1992 and well known long before 2011 when the election was held with the PNC as the major partner in APNU. In my view, academics, like politicians, must be held accountable. The question for voters now and the problem for Mr. Granger is how credible is Dr. Rose as a messenger.