January 21, 2021
For Immediate Release to All Media
The Alliance for Change has been monitoring news reports and statements emanating from the PPP’s Juan Edgehill making serious and damaging negative allegations against the AFC’s General Secretary, David Patterson. The AFC wishes to state categorically that it has full confidence in the integrity of Mr. Patterson and holds him as a person of great fortitude of character, who performed his duties as Minister of Public Infrastructure in the APNU+AFC Administration with the highest standards of public probity.
The Permanent Secretary in every ministry is responsible for its financial management, not Ministers. This is so in governmental arrangements in countries like Guyana.
It should be to noted that we are aware several PPP ministers, have received gifts including Minister Manickchand who received a gold piece of jewellery from her staff. This was duly reported in the press/social media and was frowned upon by no one.
Ironically, most recently Minister Edgehill is photographed receiving gifts but these images have since been removed from his Ministry website.
The larger issue here might be that a complete re-examination of gifting with a view to establishing clearer policy guidelines on the issue of Ministerial gifts from Ministries, Agencies and Departments is needed to be done by the government.
This, we believe is required to ensure accountability and transparency, in contrast to Mr. Edgehill’s rants, which have only served to generate disrespect instead of guidance on the matter which should be important to all Guyanese.
We assert that former Minister Patterson is owed an apology as these events have been deliberately twisted and misconstrued with a view to tarnishing his reputation and rendering him ineffective in the execution of his duties as a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC).
We further assert that the aspersions cast by PPP operatives are nothing more than a plan, concocted and designed by the PPP Administration to remove Mr. Patterson as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. We assure the public that this plan will not work and is doomed to failure. The PPP Administration, including the elected and the appointed, is dreadfully afraid of what will be highlighted as the work of the PAC progresses under the stewardship of Mr. Patterson.
As Minister of Public Infrastructure for the APNU+AFC coalition, Mr. Patterson earned for himself the reputation of getting the work done instead of providing excuses to the people for lack of performance. He brings this same insight and effectiveness to the PAC, which the Administration is desperately trying to side-line.
Under his chairmanship, the AFC is confident that much work will get done and the Committee will achieve its constitutional mandate on behalf of the Guyanese people. This is what the PPP is so desperately afraid of.
It is despicable that in the futile attempts to besmirch the good character of David Patterson, the PPP would stoop so low as to insinuate that Patterson was not able to furnish his own home until he got into Government. They even implied that he received gifts of technology devices when we know him to be so sensitive about devices that he would rather purchase his own than take that to which he was entitled as Minister.
If there needs to be refreshing of memories, the AFC wishes to remind the PPP that
Mr. Patterson was a highly successful professional from a world- renowned University prior to dedicating himself as a representative of the people in the Parliament of Guyana. His legacy is clear and he has more to accomplish for Guyana.
Alliance for Change
January 21, 2021.