People’s Progressive Party/ Civic’s (PPP/C) Sanjeev Datadin is adamant that Nigel Hinds’ most recent political arguments are wholly ill-conceived and, at the very least, must be debunked. Datadin claims that, in principle, the PPP/C Government has no intention of targeting afro-Guyanese or stymieing their development.
Recently, Chartered Accountant and former executive member of Change Guyana, Nigel Hinds penned a letter registering his discontent with the work of the PPP/C government over the past seven months. Hinds said that the actions of the PPP/C amount to extreme economic prejudice and racial callousness. Further, the political advocate said that the work of those who tried to thwart the will of the people to avoid PPP rule can now be justified using, what he claims is, the fact that the PPP has every intention to control the financial flow of Afro-Guyanese negatively. Hinds also said that the PPP government has not demonstrated any genuine intention to support inclusiveness in Guyana. In a nutshell, Hinds said that the PPP is only concerned with targeting afro-Guyanese.
During an exclusive interview with this publication, Datadin said that the contentions by Hinds could not be further from the truth.
Datadin pointed out that the proceedings launched so far by the Attorney General are meritorious and the aim is simply to recover state assets that have been improperly distributed. Datadin was keen to note that the majority of the proceedings involve Indian businessmen.
Stressing that there is no cynical agenda, Datadin said that the intention is to govern fairly, “where there has been wrongdoing, they will investigate it and where ever that leads that is where they will go.”
The lawyer noted that proceedings have been initiated against: BK Marine for the Wharf that was sold way below value; against Larry Singh over the infamous drug bond and S. Maraj over almost $100M of works that have not been completed.
Proceedings have also been initiated against Courtney Benn for several infractions to the state, all of which are touted as “substantial”, then there is the ongoing matter involving Morse Archer, owner of Cevons Waste Management over controversial land. Also, the AG turned his attention to Wilfred Bransford who also acquired parcels of lands below market value. Those three businessmen are afro-Guyanese.
When pointed to this reality, Datadin was quick to admit that indeed the AG is going after them. “But, the AG is not going after Courtney Benn, Morse Archer, and Wilfred Bransford because they are black. Similarly, he is not going after Brian Tiwarie, S. Maraj, and Larry Singh because they are Indian. He is going after them because it is his job to look after the interest of the State. The AG is going after value, plain and simple.”
Datadin pointed out that in 2015 Hinds was hired for forensic audits, “his audits yielded no wrongdoing because they were no convictions as far as I am aware. But he didn’t think that there was only one group of people being charged. He didn’t think back then when charges were levied against members of a particular community that it was wrong.”
Datadin admitted that the people who are now coming into question are known to be supporters of the previous administration. However, he said, “they were not targeted, this is not a targeted operation. The basis of this operation is to account for massive funds. Investigations must be done fairly and on the merits wherever they lead, those who have done wrong must be brought to book.”
Datadin further told Guyana Standard that the “unforgivable” part of what Hinds said is that the conduct of government justifies rigging of elections from 1966 to 1992 and the actions of (Keith) Lowenfield and (Clairmont) Mingo.
“How can any sane person say that it is justifiable to thwart the will of a people, to invent numbers? The entire world watched when all sorts of tricks, chicanery and lies were peddled. Now it seems as if Hinds is on the side of chicanery.” During the time fighting for democracy, he appeared to be interested in that but now his personal views are rather divisive. He clearly has an agenda,” said Datadin.
The Member of Parliament claims that the actions of the PPP can be justified legally and morally. He said that he is of the firm belief that Hinds has said all he did because “he thinks we must consult him personally. Then he will be satisfied. But it cannot work that way.”