This could have easily been about Clement Rohee’s enhanced vocabulary if it were not so serious.
For him to have learned to articulate phrases like ‘logical fallacy’ and use words like ‘semantics’, ‘frolic’ and ‘disingenuous’, represents a steep learning curve for this messenger who is usually oratorically clumsy. Maybe his forced sabbatical from pretending to govern has given him some time at remedial classes.
That being said, we need to look past the politics that seem to be the battleground upon which crime in Guyana is being fought and trace this new fiendish, murderous, vicious, strain of deviant behavior to the calculated fear mongering that was bred during the politics that appointed the Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, under whose tenure arose a Death Squad which was superimposed by the Phantom Squad when Clement Rohee succeeded Ronald Gajraj as Minister of Home Affairs.
A mouthful but pertinent.
It was this politics that seemed unable to stop the influx of guns into Guyana and appeared impotent in the face of the transshipment of hard drugs in to the country. It was this politics that welcomed one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals back to Guyana, Shaheed Roger Khan, whose nexus with the PPP was no secret.
PPP Government’s inaction signaled government tolerance and the loop of failure to contain and failure to restrain punctuated with police press conferences swearing that they had made their best efforts to prevent and apprehend created this module of lawless behavior that Guyanese abide by and accommodate as part of daily life.
Organized banditry became a critical part of the country’s commerce and its porous borders and pliable police were the unspoken signals that the country was open to business that was not always above the table. The United Nation’s Financial Action Task Force made it known that Guyana was a money laundry and the businesses and faux mansions that were springing up faster than the Government Revenue Authority could classify them were continuous testimony to the pervasive corruption and shadow economy that crime was breeding.
And, in a country with a population of just seven hundred and thirty five thousand, with some ninety percent living mostly along the very narrow coastal belt which houses most of the major ports, this makes for a dense criminal playground with free roaming inland borders.
To this, add a Director of Public Prosecutions whose reputation of being meticulously selective in recommending cases for prosecution somehow seems to exclude obvious criminals like Roger Khan and Aleem Samad, while ensuring that Afro criminals never fail to face prosecution, like fallen Minister Jennifer Westford; the obvious sacrificial lamb for years of structured misappropriation and misapplication of funds by the PPP misdeeds.
Particularly, thirteen years of PPP wrongdoing – 1997- 1999 under Janet Jagan and 1999-2010 under Bharaat Jagdeo – speaks to the mutation of law and order in Guyana , the period when banditry descended to marauding , the time when law keepers and law makers alike were compromised either by threat or pay off.
This level, this signature, this brand of lawlessness was planted and nurtured under Bharrat Jagdeo and was executed with the tacit knowledge of lawmakers and law keepers without remedy or redress.
It was during this time – when the police force was at its lowest point of functionality, was failing to protect and serve, was a mere straw representative of what police forces are – that Seelall Persaud earned his promotions, rose through the ranks for performance that has to be questionable, given the failure of the force, earned promotions under a President and a Minister of Home Affairs whose reputations were sullied by affiliations with the criminal element of the country and who got the nod for top cop by Donald Ramotar, President but underling to the Machiavellian Bharaat Jagdeo who remains the feared animator of his party, the PPP.
This Seelall Persaud, the nation’s 31st top cop, headed the Police Anti-Narcotics Unit (Drug Squad) for 10 years and served as the country’s lead detective (Crime Chief) for another seven years during the times of the Death and Phantom Squads , during the times when our borders and ports oozed cocaine, weapons, prostitutes, illegal immigrants and all the parts needed to assemble the country’s money laundry.
Incredible but provable.
Then Shawn Hinds came forward to defend accusations against him for the assassination of one of Guyana‘s martyrs, Courtney Crum-Ewing and talked about his tenure with the government- sanctioned death squad which was headed by then Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, who was removed as Minster during that investigation and sent as honorable Ambassador to India, ostensibly as demotion to lower portfolio for punishment. Maybe, the message was that he would be safer amongst Indians. But it was a slap in the collective face of Guyanese and a signal from Jagdeo that he was in control and would would reward his footmen by spiriting them away to India. This was the message received from this President of Guyana, which was in the throes of its lawlessness under his rule.
There was one thing Shawn didn’t say and that was these marauders were disbanded.
There is one thing that he did say and that was they worked with full knowledge of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Force , the department that current Commissioner Seelall Persaud headed during the height of the country’s criminal activity and when these crimes were being executed without arrest under the rule of former President, Bharaat Jagdeo.
President Granger’s reputation as a military strategist and tactician remains solidly intact. Like him, his advisors are alumni of war colleges and are graduates of courses on insurgency. They would have learned that martial law is an extreme and rare resort to quell unrest.
Citizens depend on their government to employ all measures to keep them safe. The marauders remain on the loose threatening the safety of all citizens. They were banded together and nurtured under the Presidency of Bharaat Jagdeo and policing of Seelall Persaud, both of whom remain at the top of their game. They see no need to disband or disperse. Their mission remains that of creating unrest.
And, they are.
It is not loose speculation that these organized criminal elements are still taking orders from those who ordered them prior to the new administration’s ascension to office.
It is not fabrication the the home of former Crime Chief and current Assistant Commissioner of police was robbed and his family tied up and assaulted by these roaming pillagers, when he was home.
It is not mere conjecture that these roaming brigands have select targets and are terrorizing ahead of the nation’s biggest celebration – its fiftieth anniversary as an independent nation, when thousands of Guyanese are expected to join the celebration to salute the long awaited change of government.
The time has come for President Granger to resort to the rare and extreme to quell unrest.
It has become a security imperative.
And when that’s done, President Granger needs to review this particular overture at inclusive governance and deal with this Seelall Persaud who was way too wrapped up in the functioning of the Squads to have his vow to make the Guyana Police Force “a more professional one” taken seriously.