OPINION: Calling Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP: get rid of Dharamlall quickly – (nicely, of course)

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 May 2024, 19:18 by Writer

By GHK Lall

Former government Minister, Mr. Nigel Dharamlall has become the hottest hot potato for the PPP. With some accuracy, it could be said that he is the source of more tension than the Venezuelan military buildup in the Ankoko area. What to do with the man, a loyal soldier for the party, probably a man who walks around with a lot of secrets in his head. How to do so smoothly, i.e., without appearing to bow to pressure from a society that thinks only his total absence would be acceptable. How to allow both Mr. Dharamlall and the party to save face, so as not to seem anxiety-ridden, as though there was some type of wrongdoing to hide. What to do with Mr. Dharamlall without instilling any fear in the huge army of party stalwarts – those names that are whispered in wrongs, especially those involving the public money – that it could be their turn next, and the PPP would not be there for them to the bitter end.

Demerara Waves carried an article titled, “PPP may discuss Dharamlall’s eligibility for other party positions” (May 16-2024). The leader dealing with that issue was party general secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, and there was a peculiar stinginess in his demeanor. The normally overflowing Jagdeo, an unstoppable gusher of words, was sealed as tight as a Ziploc bag. Burn-proof, freezer-proof. All the regular effusiveness in Jagdeo was drier than the prior searing drought conditions that tormented Guyanese. He was not in a temper to give away anything that had to do with the boiling temperatures swirling Dharamlall: “That’s preempting the discussions we may have, so I don’t want to speculate on this matter.” It is classic Jagdeo, the matter is in his head, he knows full well the issues to be discussed, but he would not be drawn into any elaboration. Party business is party business, and not for public consumption.

Strange as it may register, I hear Mr. Jagdeo, and I am with him on this. However Nigel Dharamlall developments feature sordidly in the media, it is still a matter for behind closed doors, hushed tones, and then involving only the most trusted of the party diehards. But I would be less than straight with the general secretary if I did not share what he already knows but is still in need of a timely reminder from an outsider. Nigel Dharamlall can be regarded as baggage. Guyanese may not matter in the decision equation; but he should think of all those foreigners and their considerations, their standards, admittedly sketchy at times. There are women among them, there may be those (both male and female) of a different orientation and lifestyle among them, and they take these things seriously. I extend another helping hand to bhai Jagdeo. In terms of optics, Mr. Dharmalall, be he guilty as alleged, or innocent, has become a red albatross over the PPP’s head, and an embarrassment around its neck. If I have offended the delicate sensitivities of either Dr. Jagdeo or the man Dharamlall who may be in need some sort of medicine or tonic, then I assure both that no offense was intended. Since I am so far along the Dharamlall Dam, I cozy up to Jagdeo some more with yet another helpful recommendation. Given the man Dharamlall any party job that is desired. Eligibility should not be a concern; just hand him a nice, sweet, cushy party job, and get the man out of the prominence of the limelight.

Give the man a party detail that has no duties, and it is the PPP’s right to do so. But he must not be seen, not be heard, and not be mentioned in any context whatsoever when those three letters come up: PPP. In other words, arrange for Mr. Dharamlall to exit the Executive Committee of the PPP with haste, but without giving the impression that that is being done under any external pressure. Who the hell cares about civil society pressure? More pointedly, why should the PPP care, total control or not? Mr. Dharamlall does not have to agree as a nominee of the people (supposedly). If he doesn’t know, Mr. Jagdeo knows the wisdom in such a move. As a further favor, I would write the script free of charge for Jagdeo. It would run along these lines: ‘In the interest of the peace of mind of our brother and luminary, Comrade Nigel Dharamlall, he has resigned from the Executive Committee of the PPP with immediate effect. He plans to spend his time constructively, with family, gardening, and other pursuits, among his priorities. The PPP is grateful to Comrade Nigel for his yeoman service, his special skills with parliamentary oratory, and the unequalled community attributes he brought to the table. He will be back.’ It is said that one cannot please all the people all the time. In this instance, the impossible would have been achieved. Wrongdoers in the PPP could breathe easier, as they would not have fear whose number is up, is abandoned in their time of exposure and distress.

In closing, I recall American Congressman John Conyers and Senator Bob Packwood. Both resigned after a public furor involving allegations of sexual misconduct. Allegations only, I remind all my fellows. After 53 years in Congress, John Conyers did it for the good of his party. I hope that General Secretary Jagdeo is absorbing and readying to do what he must do. There was a French physician who made a certain instrument famous, but which is now rusting from lack of use. The guillotine, it is called. The PPP must act. Naturally, that means Jagdeo only.