Dear Editor,

If I had to pen a letter to President Ali, then it would go like this. Dear President Ali, as you know Guyana stands at the precipice of becoming a country that we could only have dreamed of 50 years ago. While there are those who think of this moment as a breakthrough of prosperity and a life of wealth for all, some see the future as grim. Yet, there are other people who may prefer to leave it in the hands of God.
My question to you is this: How do you see Guyana? Do you envision a Guyana where some relish in prosperity while the others suffer and their children left in perpetual debt? Do you see a Guyana with justice for some and “just this” for others? Do you plan and dream of a Guyana where only those with whom you share an affinity will prosper and thrive? While I can venture into the world of sortilege to recognise your answer, I am no soothsayer. I will rather live in the present and to let the future reveal than to wander in a dream state.
President Ali, I don’t know if the Quran has an equivalent verse as one found in the Bible. The verse goes like this: where there is no vision, the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. If there is an equivalent Sura, I would be interested in reading it. My interpretation of this proverb is that a wise leader is one who recognises and follows the law, so do the people. And when woven together, therein, a sense of justice prevails.
President Ali, this I believe to be true. A just leader would neither sit at the helm nor stand by and say nothing to those who are charged with executing the law choosing instead to execute its citizens. I believe that a wise leader should ensure that the economy functions to encapsulate everyone. I believe that a fair leader upholds public servants as much as sugar workers; nationals are uplifted as much as multinationals; contracts for cronies are counter balanced with standards, sans thumbs on the scales. I will pray for you to be blessed, and, among other things, for you to remember the system. Remember daily, dear President, that thesis and antithesis creates the narrative. Remember that the leader sets the space for the narrative to be written, and all of us must coexist in this space.
As I close this letter, I am reminded that we all will not live forever. This is no secret. However, what remains will be the story created for historians. President Ali, how do you want historians to read your narrative? What stories do we want our grandchildren to tell their grandchildren about GT? Will it be one where you looked at the tyranny that trampled on your citizens, and you said nothing? Will it be one where only those whom you aligned prospered, and you said nothing? Will it be a record of war, which warped Guyana into a state of chaos, on your watch? Only you know the answers to those questions. Only you know if you see yourself as a transformative leader, a servant leader, or an effete leader. You may see yourself as different; I see you making a difference. Only you know your narrative. Only you can tell your story.

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Les Archer


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