The recent revelation made in parliament by the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, about his government receiving a signing bonus from the oil giant, ExxonMobil was kept a secret for over one year. However, it could very well be the right step in terms of the interest and well-being of our nation as a whole, but may have some dire consequences because of the polarised politics practised by the main PPP opposition party. They seek to fragment the efforts being made by the APNU+AFC coalition government to move the nation forward by the year 2020, with the discovery of vast oil wealth. Mr Trotman said that “our sovereignty is at stake,” and he was absolutely correct because our sovereignty is closely tied to our territorial integrity and political independence, ie it is an issue of national security. It implies an atmosphere in which a state can exist free from any outside threats to its independence and ownership of its natural resources.
Mr Trotman said that his government had hired lawyers from Canada and the United Kingdom, and had put aside the US$18 million for such legal purposes, and it must be acknowledged that this is very important at this point in time.
Two questions may come to our minds: Was this a deception by the Government of Guyana to hoodwink the nation? Or was it a genuine plan to hire top legal minds to defend our sovereignty? However, it is now our duty as citizens of this democratic country to come out of our comfort zones and make known to the government that their decision to withhold such vital information has turned out to be a hot scandal. Hence, we all need an explanation and an apology from President Granger to give the nation some assurance that there will be no more such occurrences in the future on the part of his administration.
Anyway, since Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman is the leader of the AFC and is a part of this present government, I call on all members of the AFC to be resolute in this trying time and to come out in support of our AFC leader. Stop the stooping in pretence of keeping a low profile under the AFC party radar, and rise to the political challenges that we are now faced with.