PPP betrayed Jagan’s ideal— PM Nagamootoo
PRIME Minister Moses Nagamootoo is urging PPP supporters to sanction their party’s leadership for betraying the ideals of Cheddi Jagan.
In his weekend column, My Turn, he named what he described as the “Stalinist Gang” for betraying the expectations of Cheddi Jagan for a government of national unity.
The prime minister said that was always a place for the PPP in a broad-based government, stating that the Cummingsburg Accord expressly provided for the PPP’s inclusion in a government of national unity.
The former top party executive and stalwart said, however, that under its present leadership, the PPP would not go there.
“The self-styled ‘maximum leader’ is too wrapped up in ethno-partisan politics, and in converting Jagan’s party into a corporate entity, to protect the narrow interests of his rich cronies,” he explained.
The prime minister said that he remains fully commitment to a Government of National Unity, claiming that he has paid a heavy price in the post-Jagan leadership for his position.
He also disclosed that on December 21, 2018, shortly before the motion of no confidence was debated in the National Assembly, he had urged the opposition leader to change course and advised him to instead engage the government in talks.
“I had told Jagdeo that whatever the outcome of the no confidence motion, after the debate, it would be difficult to talk with the Coalition about national unity. He listened, giggled and, knowing that he had clinched a deal, he sarcastically inquired: ‘Are you going back to live in Sophia?’”
Even after he became a minister in 1992, Prime Minister Nagamootoo and his family had lived in their own house in North Sophia, a village on the outskirt of the city.
However, a year after he became prime minister, he was advised to relocate to the Official Residence in Main Street, Georgetown, which he did.
It appeared that Jagdeo saw in a possible ouster of the Coalition government an opportunity for the removal of Nagamootoo from the PM’s Residence.
In his column he observed that “Jagdeo’s focus was never on the bigger picture”.
GOAL OF NATIONAL UNITY
When he resigned from the PPP after 50 years, he had recommitted to the goal of national unity. In his book “Fragments from Memory”, he wrote these words:
“For me, in this last leg of a long journey, I am still confident that my strivings for national unity through a genuine multi-party democratic and honest Guyanese Government will at long last be achieved”.
The formation of the APNU+AFC Coalition, he said, was a bold step in the right direction.
In making his case that the ideals of Cheddi Jagan were betrayed, he wrote: “Nothing was the same after Cheddi died. Corruption – at first by stealth then overtly – began to eat into the sinews of the party and government. The new leaders quickly grabbed lands for themselves, their families and friends, and many were building high-priced mansions in an awful display of ostentatious living. Cadillac-style living in a donkey – cart economy, one critic called it.
“Nepotism and cronyism were the new yardstick for rapid enrichment for a few who bought out state enterprises or were awarded juicy contracts. The new elite cultivated by the Moscow-trained Jagdeo were given lands at basement prices. They grabbed forestry concessions and were given as virtual gifts precious national resources that constituted the radio, television, cable and telecommunication spectrum.
“The new rulers undermined accountability and acted in breach of the law. Public monies were spent without parliamentary approval and in violation of the Constitution. More and more the line was blurred between democracy and dictatorship.”
Those were some of the immediate reasons that caused him to resign from the PPP.