I am concerned about Mr Sherod Duncan on two fronts. Firstly, his meteoric rise to fame and stardom is dazzling and because of this, he has to be wary. And to think that he really did nothing specular. All he did was ask if the duly elected councillors could have a say in what happens at the council. And for that single request, he is now the talk of the town (pun intended). This reminds me of a saying: ‘One-eye man is king in blind man country.’ If Mr Duncan had said what he said in a country that is not a banana republic, his request would have been granted, adjustments would have been made and the matter would have lasted all but three days. But in Guyana, where old habits die hard, a little known councillor, simply by being practical, has now been able to attract the backing of the international community, including the ambassadors of the world’s most powerful nations. Who would have thought? He even made the government do what the PPP are now saying is illegal; they are reviewing the parking meter contract.
Mr Duncan has caused consternation in relation to the city’s single most ambitious project. No other project in the city, in recent history, has engendered more investment capital, international and local impetus and political involvement. Singlehandedly Mr Duncan has brought to a bitter place, a project that in the minds of the conveners was a walk in the park. The four most powerful M&CC big wigs were on board with this deal. Now all eyes are on Mr Duncan.
Many will seek him out. He will be approached by those who have long had ideas and plans for the City of Georgetown but who could not (or did not want to) pay the usual ‘concessions’ that are required. Additionally, he will be approached by those who are willing and able to pay such ‘concessions’ but who would want him to endorse their projects. He is now in demand. It is perceived that he can make some kings and others paupers. My first concern, therefore, is that from here on out, everything Mr Duncan does will be under severe scrutiny.
Secondly, it is possible that some of those whom he offended might seek to get to him. After all, if there is one thing Guyana is known for, it is its awful and brutal vindictiveness. So Mr Duncan needs to tread carefully.
Editor, I debated Mr Sherod Duncan in the run-up to the local government elections. My only problem with him then was that he was campaigning under the banner of the coalition, which I thought was unfair. I believed then, as I still do now, that the central government should not be running the local government. However, if I had known that Mr Duncan would have been this independent in his thought and intent, I would have left him alone. I tip my hat to him.
Pastor Wendell P Jeffrey