Irfaan all the way for President

first_imgDear Editor,I first met Mohamed Irfaan Ali in 2009. He was a member of a cricket team I managed for a match in Wakenaam Island and despite being the Housing Minister at the time, Irfaan willingly subjected himself to my “tough” style of management without complaint. I was impressed by how this young man (he was 28 at the time) handled the pressure of expectation from the large crowd, his ease of interaction with everyone and his willingness to be a minor team player.Irfaan made 4 runs, not the fastest runner, but he nevertheless put serious effort in when called on in the field and even bowled a few overs. The crowd loved it and he received a standing ovation on his return to the pavilion. It made for a wonderful day and many people still remind me of that match from time to time.During the tussle with the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Cricket Board, Irfaan and I were on opposite sides of the fence. Irfaan did not change his attitude towards me, instead of becoming hostile as was expected of a powerful Government Minister; he expressed admiration for my willingness to stand for what I believed to be right. It was at that point I stopped believing the stories being peddled about the PPP/C and started my quest for the truth.Robin Singh won v the Attorney General and remains a landmark CCJ decision. I became vocal in matters of Government, I spent more time learning how government works, asking endless questions of my friends in the legal fraternity. I began writing my opinions on issues and suggesting solutions via the letter columns in local newspapers. People began taking notice and I was asked to join or meet with various political parties over the years. I always found ways to politely decline.I watched the PPP/C suffer from a well-orchestrated public vilification rife with what we now call “fake news”, allegations of massive corruption totalling five times the annual budget, allegations so ludicrous that I soon realised that Hitler’s theory that “People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”Irfaan Ali was delivering on promises; he was innovating, taking the “One Stop Shop” for housing to the people; house lots were being distributed at a record rate; wells were being built, construction was booming; special projects were being implemented with the Young Professional and Re-migrant Schemes.During this period we would run into each other at various events and he would take my inquiries about his “mansion” in good grace and return the ribbing with good nature. I still marvel that all of this was done by such a young man; few could handle the pressures of the demand for housing and house lots, the Auditor General’s reports show housing stock increased by 28,456 during his tenure, they do not show that the projects he started are still the only ones being developed.My sense of fair play led me to defend the record of the PPP/C and ask others to examine the facts rather than believe the big lies. I was never asked to do so by anyone in that party, I simply wanted the truth to be known. After the Government changed in 2015, I again ran into Irfaan and he expressed a simple “thank you” for my support and belief in his integrity. That action spoke volumes on his character, and my respect grew as a result.Over the coming weeks and months, we will all be subject to information and fake news about Irfaan Ali, I already know all that I need to about this man from the people, for the people and will be making every effort to make him our next President for the betterment of all Guyanese.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more