Entrench national unity, show respect- former PM Nagamootoo tells book launch

Last Updated on Saturday, 6 April 2024, 13:42 by Denis Chabrol

-recalls being stripped of guards, vehicles

Former Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo speaking at the launch of his latest book, “My Quest for National Unity- Dear Land of Guyana”

Former Prime Minister of Guyana, Moses Nagamootoo on Friday appealed for steps to be taken to entrench national unity in Guyana regardless of which political party is in power, as he spoke at the launch of his latest book.

“Dear Land of Guyana is the Dear Land of All of Us. It is not for a situation where 50 percent must be in and 50 percent must be out and those who are out will be in tomorrow and those who are in must be out the next day. It’s not going to happen. You are not going to build a cohesive society or a prosperous society or an enduring society if we constantly pull a part,” Mr Nagamootoo told the official launch of the publication.

He said the “kernel” of his 344-page publication, ‘My Quest for National Unity- Dear Land of Guyana’ contains “all the steps that I have taken” in his search for social and political cohesion.

Citing the virtual eviction from the Official Prime Minister’s Residence on Main Street, Georgetown after the results of the 2020 general and regional elections had been announced and President Irfaan Ali was sworn in, he said it was “painful” to see how “we have brought our own dignity as a people down.” “We saw flash lights in the yard and everybody was busy, vehicles were driving out and so on. We got up the next day to discover that there were no guards. The vehicles were all gone. Someone came to collect the keys the very next day after the government was changed to the Prime Minister’s Residence and we were literally told to walk home,” Mr Nagamootoo said.

The decades-long senior member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) until he resigned  in 2011 said when there is no respect for symbols, leaders and elders, “it is going beyond the division of the society; it is going to degradation of your society.” “The way we are losing our values, we are losing our self-respect.

Mr Nagamootoo, who later joined the Alliance For Change and went on to be appointed Prime Minister in 2015 by the coalition administration which included the People’s National Congress Reform-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), said his publication highlights the need for an entrenched framework for national unity because the division in society is “eating us away”. “Dear Land tried to capture at different times of our history why we must always return to this requirement, this necessity for unity, for formal unity, institutionalised unity,” he said.

He said parts of My Quest for National Unity – Dear Land of Guyana” “might be hurtful to some people” but that was not intentional rather than expose of human and intellectual deformities.

Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes speaking at the launch of Moses Nagamootoo’s (at right) book “My Quest for National Unity- Dear Land of Guyana.”

In his review of the publication, Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes remarked that, “What comes through in this book, as you read it, is that back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s all the way through to now, Moses was searching, in his political development, for finding a way for joint participation.”

Mr Nagamootoo said he hoped that that mistakes from those experiences would be a guiding light for others. Noting that left-leaning politicians were at one time regarded as threats, he said ultimately what matters is the working class. “The importance of the working people cannot be underestimated then and even today because all over “even in today’s circumstances in Guyana, working people are the victims, are the object of the pressures of society.”

Mr Nagamootoo is a Caribbean-trained lawyer and former journalist.