Op Ed: Whim Referendum – Total rejection, repudiation of Nagamootoo and AFC

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By Dr Leslie Ramsammy 

Webster’s Dictionary has chosen TOXIC as the 2018 Word of the Year. Local Government Elections (LGE) 2018 dramatically pronounced the AFC and its leaders TOXIC, everywhere in Guyana. Not only the AFC did badly in the overall LGE 2018, they were toxic even in the towns and villages where their leaders were born and grew up. Nowhere were the results more alarming for the AFC than in Region 6 which had become a sort of bastion for the AFC and is the region where most of the visible leaders of the AFC were born and grew up. In this region, the AFC secured less than 0.1% of the votes. In Port Mourant, where the AFC had a pocket of support in 2015, the AFC barely secured 0.3%, even less than an independent candidate who beat them in this constituency. In Whim, the AFC and its pompous “elder Statesman”, Moses Nagamootoo, was totally rejected and repudiated, just as they were across Guyana.

The AFC made Whim a referendum, insisting that Whim wants the AFC and not the PPP to represent them. Moses Nagamootoo’s vanity transformed the Whim LGE into a referendum for Whim to choose between him and Bharrat Jagdeo. Moses went to Whim the night before the election, holding a rally, emphasizing the AFC’s claim of supremacy and laying his claim he was Whim’s choice, not Bharrat Jagdeo. But Whim unequivocally used the power of the X to overwhelmingly reject the AFC and to repudiate Nagamootoo. In stark contrast, Whim showed its unreserved support and love for the PPP and Bharat Jagdeo.

Nagamootoo descended on Whim on Sunday, November 11, with a convoy of security and assistants, totaling thirteen vehicles, spent more than an hour attacking Bharrat Jagdeo, Leslie Ramsammy, Zulphikar Mustapha and Dr. Ramaya. He listed major achievements of the APNU+AFC – first “Seeta went to Auchlyne School and the children wanted a water dispenser and Seeta gave them an electric water dispenser with hot and cold water” and, second, “Seeta went to Auchlyne School and the children wanted a copying machine and Seeta gave them a copying machine”. Sad, after three and a half years this was the sum total of his government’s achievement, according to Nagamootoo’s speech.

Only a raging narcissist would risk his reputation by making any election a referendum on himself. The siren-blazing Prime Minister completely ignored the many things that worry people in Whim and across Guyana. He ignored the threat of his government for dramatic increases in property taxes, the poor health services, the GPL blackouts, the increasing taxes, the closure of sugar estates and loss of employment, non-payment of severance for sugar workers, the increasing cost of living, spiraling crime, crippling illicit drugs in the communities, etc. He ignored the obnoxious growth of corruption and the rise of dictatorship. Instead, for Nagamootoo, the most important LGE 2018 issue for Whim and the country was his coronation, over Bharrat Jagdeo. His obsession over Jagdeo, his hate for people he deems Jagdeo’s acolytes, made him come to Whim instructing people to use their X to prove he is number 1.

Whim-Bloomfield used the power of their X and unequivocally rejected and repudiated both Nagamootoo and the AFC. It is a total rejection when even the people you claimed signed as backers for your party did not vote for you. None of the individual candidates for the AFC in the various constituencies in Whim-Bloomfield even garner enough votes to equal the number of backers they needed to become candidates in the elections. The Whim voters proved the police, a Judge and GECOM wrong – the AFC did fraudulently use people’s names as backers. The AFC did not win a single constituency or a single PR seat in Whim-Bloomfield. It was a total annihilation for the AFC and Nagamootoo in Whim. His own relatives and the people he grew up with rejected him.

It is a devastating blow to Nagamootoo. The man who once walked with Cheddi surrendered his advantage of being a home-village hero when he betrayed the people and joined the PNC in fighting Cheddi’s party, the PPP. For the people of Whim, Nagamootoo was not a home-village son of renown, but a man who betrayed them, who is a traitor. They saw a man who was only interested in himself, they saw his pomposity and his burning ambition to be President, even if he has to betray them. Whim nailed the political coffin of Nagamootoo by resoundingly voting against him and the AFC, by using their X to serenade the PPP and Jagdeo.

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