OPINION: President Ali’s challenge on this “unauthorized” actions fairytale

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 September 2023, 22:23 by Denis Chabrol

by GHK Lall

President Ali is caught on the jagged prongs of a dilemma.  He turns to the left he is in trouble; he looks to the right, and he would be in the wrong.  This is being between the devil and the raging sea, and it is the President’s lot.  I feel sorry for him: he is damned if he does, and demonized if he doesn’t in this matter involving “unauthorized” actions relative to the US$214 Exxon precontract audit.  Twist it or tumble it on its head, there is a provocation hanging over His Excellency, and if he isn’t wise, it can diminish him.

Before proceeding, I clearly state where I stand.  This is less of the man and leader, Dr. Irfaan Ali, and is all about the highest office in the realm, the presidency.  Also, President Ali has slipped considerably, but I share today, so that he doesn’t collapse completely.  To put this gently, the hope is that the President handles this clever business about “unauthorized” actions by Natural Resources Ministry personnel with astuteness and vigor, so that all respect for him, and his office, does not evaporate.

Frankly, I think that “unauthorized” is imaginary, the latest slithery move in a swamp of slickness.  Nobody should be fooled.  Not a single Guyanese since there is not one public servant, who is so suicidal.  When even senior ministers are cowed into biting tongue, crawling on knees, and gnawing fingernails, then it would be one daring public servant (or group) of unparalleled valor to have contemplated, much less attempted to giveaway to Exxon what was reported.  I ask, and not for the first time, somebody point to this nation (to me) a public servant in this country, who would release on his or her own US$105.5 million to Exxon?  Show me, please, the official who possesses the testicular strength and is intestinally muscular to cheat Guyana out of its GY$21 billion plus share that that half of US$214 less US$3 million represents.

To Excellency Ali, I offer this humble morsel: this is another instance of smoke and mirrors, with fire behind the smoke.  Dr. President: the office of the presidency and the dignity and honor that it encompasses is being desecrated.  Do something, please; do not take this as another slice of regular business, compliments of an out-of-control human train.  I make this personal, Dr. Ali: the season of this governorship is being insulted, with any slippery subterfuge that comes to mind, through any sweet stratagem that rewards others, and leaves the leader looking like a loser, and nothing but a placeholder and an extra.  “Unauthorized is greasepaint; it is a porous, wafer-thin straw hat made of the poorest material.

If this is allowed to pass, then there is no telling what could be the next shenanigan that is in the making.  If this has to be made into a test case for a showdown and a throwdown, then let it be.  I extend this helping hand because there is appreciation for the efforts.  Though there is much with which I differ, I give significant points to His Excellency for working within the narrow circle to which the power of the presidency has been reduced.  There is certainty that this present will be read by watchers and protectors in the Office of the Presidency.  Good!  Now, they must impress upon the President where his blind spots are, and how he is being taken for a ride by his own. 

After three years, the tag team charade wears thin and thinner.  “Unauthorized” encircling big money by Guyana standards is the latest repugnance pasted on the wretched what is the handiwork of rogue(s).  The President has to gather his allies and select a time to swoop.  Any and all political debts have been paid in full, through the absorption of other profanities that redound to the President’s loss of face.  It is time that President Ali breaks out and comes into his own.  Somebody should be stepping down, or be forced to do so.  It is not the President, as much as the anvil of this “unauthorized” fabrication hovers over his head.

No quantity of spinning, no vacuuming, is going to make this patented nonsense about “unauthorized” actions disappear into the usual fog and murk.  President Ali either acts with determination and courage, or he will forever be consigned to the role of fetcher of water.  Merely a commander in chief in charge of cleaning up after his so-called friends and comrades.  Friends and godfathers and champions do not inflict abominations like “unauthorized” actions, on the ones being groomed to stand on their own two feet.  Today, there is this fairytale about “unauthorized” surrounding billions of Guyana dollars being parroted about, with an oily, sweaty, sickly stretch of the face.  Tomorrow, it could be the billions in US dollars being sunk into the gas-to-energy project.  One fiasco is still circulating; but there is that one that is shrouded in secrecy and possibly financial vulgarity that is waiting in the wings.

For President Ali’s benefit, there is this little token from me.  It was Hegel who penned that the owl of Minerva takes flight at dusk.  It is vital that some of its sagacity is caught before darkness enshrouds all Guyana.