Gladwin Abdulla, a well-known member of the Alliance For Change (AFC) in Region Six, recently resigned from the party, while citing corruption by party members in the region as one of the main reasons for his sudden decision.
Abdulla, whose resignation was effective from August 15th, yesterday told Stabroek News that he believes that an investigation should be launched.
According to him, there have been several instances of corruption and the final straw for him was when he witnessed an official seeking a “kickback” from contractors within Region Six about two weeks ago.
Abdullah explained that he accompanied the official to the contractor’s house and was shocked when the official requested a 7% kickback on a contract that he [the official] would get for him.
According to Abdullah, when the contractor refused, the official claimed he came on instructions from a senior government official, but the contractor still refused. “I was highly embarrassed by this open display of corruption,” he said.
He also alleged that the official had asked him for a kickback in exchange for one of the contracts to clear the road shoulders along the Corentyne Highway.
Abdullah charged that persons who were awarded the contracts were only selected because of their ties to parties. He claimed that some “do not even have the financial resources to do the work” and that he had to act as a guarantor for some to be given credit to purchase slashers and gas, among other items. “But it got worse when only a few days ago I discovered that the workers from Number 19 Village were not even paid a dollar for the work they did on behalf of an AFC Executive member turn contractor,” he further said.
Regional Chairman of Region Six David Armogan recently called for the award of the contracts, said to be worth $120 million in total, to be investigated.
“Majority of them corrupt. I deal with them. I know and I don’t want to be part of what is going on here right now,” Abdullah, who had been supporting the AFC for over five years, said. “The corruption by the AFC officials is spiraling out of control and the AFC ministers who regularly visited Region Six do not even bat an eyelid,” he added.
Abdullah also said that he is very hurt since he gave all of his support to the party. He noted that the party campaigned on being transparent and accountable, and that was what won his support. “They meant good but they deviated,” he said. “I believed in what they said, what they said about accountability and transparency. Is something opposite they doing; they preach that they want a change and they would do good for all the people but they mislead the people and they mislead me and I was hurt,” he claimed.
Abdullah said that he plans to now campaign for the PPP/C at the upcoming local government elections, since he still greatly wants to represent his constituency. He said he feels that it is the move he needs to make at this time in his political career.
His brother, Erwin Abdulla, who was an AFC member resigned soon after the APNU+AFC coalition won the 2015 general elections. He told Stabroek News yesterday that he did not agree with most of the decisions made by the government after gaining office, especially the salary increases that were awarded to senior ministers.