By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) has called on the government to ensure the Commission of Inquiry (COI), set up to investigate into the June 1980 death of Guyanese Politician and Historian, Dr. Walter Rodney honors September deadline; warning that it will not support additional funding should the Commission’s life be prolonged.
The COI was initially scheduled to last four months, following its February commencement date; however, President Donald Ramotar, upon whose instructions the Inquiry was established initially, had extended its life to September 30, 2014.
Lead Counsel for the PNC at the Commission, Basil William believes that notwithstanding the extension, the COI remains open ended and is not likely to reveal the truth in relation to the circumstances under which Dr. Rodney died.
At a press conference on Friday, August 08, he demands that the only witness to the explosion that killed Rodney, his brother Donald Rodney along with Former Crime Chief Cecil ‘Skipp’ Roberts and Former Army Chief Norman McLean should be brought to give testimony after which hearings should conclude.
He believes the COI has spent too much time dealing with the political atmosphere and climate at the time, instead of seeking out the direct truth in relation to Rodney’s unnatural death.
“I want the believe the purpose of the Commission is not really to find out how Rodney died but to besmirch the reputation of the PNC and other individuals who have served this country,” Williams said; adding that “this is what the government is doing because it is preparing for elections.”
He was supported in this regard by Opposition Leader David Granger who accused the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of manipulating the COI in a plot to provoke resentment against the PNC/R.
“The PPP deliberately waited over twenty years and until the onset of local government elections to convene the COI. It now seeks to divert attention from the prevalent problems of crime, corruption, incompetence and internal conflict within its own ranks,” Granger said.
Over the last four months of hearings allegations, claiming PNC’s involvement in Rodney’s death have been loud and several.
The PNC has since resented these claims; reasoning that it is unsupported. Today, Granger said the extension was clumsy and believes the cost for the COI, in the end, might exceed US$1 million.
Granger believes the daily hearing have been reduced to soap opera where citizens tune in for entertainment.
Meanwhile, Attorney – at – Law and Opposition Parliamentarian, James Bond believes the COI is well serving its purpose as a distraction to the people of Guyana from the more important issues of the day.
“Guyanese must refuse this game, boycott this game and pay attention to the more pressing issues,” he said. He said the people must see the PPP who they are; adding that there motive is primitive.