I have noted the statements by the Prime Minister Nagamootoo in the Guyana Chronicle with some amusement, where he expresses solidarity and mounts, in his view, a defence of older comrades and leaders of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – comrades he claims are the ones who former President Bharrat Jagdeo wants to push out of the party. Does he believe that we are suffering from such short memories?
Moses Nagamootoo has always been the chameleon, much to the amusement of some of the older heads of the PPP who have known him all too well…unfortunately. He waxes and wanes, drifts wherever the winds blow and dances to the piper’s call once his objective of personal aggrandizement is met.
Mr Nagamootoo believes that we have forgotten how he has vilified the entire PPP and its leaders, calling the PPP “racist,” “fascist”, “fat cats”, to name a few, at sittings in the National Assembly and at other public fora. Now he is pretending to ‘defend’ the older leaders of the PPP as a means to target once again his nemesis, Bharrat Jagdeo. His obsession with Mr Jagdeo is understandable as he knows he is no match, nor could he ever be, with Jagdeo, or, in fact any of several leaders of the PPP.
Instead, he should be more concerned about whether his party, the AFC, will survive the 2020 elections and whether it will be able to attract support to maintain its seats, or any seat for that matter. Surely he recognises that he is the one who will be pushed out; these are his ‘swan song’ months as Prime Minister.
Mr Nagamootoo’s legacy in Guyana’s history will be one of the ‘whipping boy’ of the APNU to attack the parliamentary opposition with vile lies. Any time an assault has to be made on the PPP, it is Nagamootoo who is sent in by APNU to do its dirty work. It is he who was sent to the estates after the dismissal of 5000 sugar workers to try to convince them that sugar wasn’t dead, and that the government cared. His usefulness to the APNU, however, will grow thin despite his loyal gymnastics.
No truer were the words written by our national poet, Martin Carter, that “the mouth is muzzled by the hand that feeds it”. Thus, his recent public foray to appear to defend the older leaders of the PPP is nothing but ‘classic’ Nagamootoo ‒ nakedly opportunistic, deceptive and self-serving.
Nevertheless as an older member of the PPP leadership, and, in fact, the most senior female leader, I have no fear of being pushed aside by Mr Jagdeo or anyone else. As a member of successive PPPC administrations, I have been a constant and have honestly served my government and the nation to the best of my ability. As a member of the PPPC parliamentary opposition, I continue to serve and to carry my responsibilities with dignity and integrity. Yes, I am proud to be a part of the older leaders who have served and continue to loyally serve our party and nation.
My work continues to be hectic and challenging, and I watch with admiration other leaders like Dr Roger Luncheon, Clinton Collymore, and former Prime Minister Sam Hinds, selflessly contribute their time, energy, experience and love to the Guyanese people from all walks of life who are suffering in these trying APNU+AFC times.
I believe that my role will keep changing as long as I have life; I am morally bound to help to groom and nurture the younger leaders of the party to be courageous, principled and resilient in the struggles of the future to regain our threatened democracy and save our nation from its spiralling decline under the APNU+AFC regime.
My sense of duty to the younger leaders is bolstered by the fact that in the 1970s older leaders of the party gave me, a young woman in her twenties, the guidance and opportunities to grow and be elevated in the PPP. Just as in 1997, the party gave its support to young Bharrat Jagdeo to be the successor to Mrs Janet Jagan after those elections.
The PPP/C has no generational conflict, nor has it ever had. It began with youthful leaders in 1950 and has never been afraid of young people, but instead has embraced them and pushed them up, not out. They only have to work hard and serve with energy and courage, those that are ‘spent’ – whether old or young – will not make it to the top.
Every PPPC government from 1992 to 2015 has been characterized by young ministers in the late 20s and those who were middle aged who brought experience to the table.
Maybe Mr Nagamootoo is reflecting on the generational gap that exists in his government’s administration where the very male senior citizens of urban upper middle class extraction reign supreme.
I do not need any Nagamootoo to defend my survival in the PPP, and, in fact, no one should. One’s inherent political instinct would tell you if you listened that he remains a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’.
Gail Teixeira, MP
PPP Executive and Central