THE People’s Progressive Party (PPP), in a statement on Friday, questioned the refusal of the Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier (rtd.) David Granger, to appear before the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the death of Dr. Walter Rodney.
The PPP said: “The PNC Leader, David Granger is reported to have said that he and his Party will not be reversing their position with the Walter Rodney Commission set up by President Donald Ramotar into the death of historian Dr. Walter Rodney even though he was identified by name as a commander in the army during the period when Rodney met his death.
“The question that needed to be answered is why is it that Granger is refusing to appear before the Commission despite overwhelming evidence which point in the direction of his Party’s involvement in the death of Dr. Rodney.”
According to the party, it would seem that Granger is “afraid to face up the truth,” which is becoming increasingly manifest every time someone takes to the stand, in particular those who witnessed first-hand the atrocities of that period.
“If, as Granger is saying that he and his party has clean hands then why is he so reluctant to give his take on the events as they unfolded at that time when he was a key player in the military? One would have thought that the best recourse to clearing his name is to take to the stand and explain his and the army’s involvement in the matter,” the ruling party said.
The PPP maintains its earlier expressed view that the Commission should use its power vested in it to summon all witness with relevant information to share in order to ensure that there is full disclosure of what transpired.
“There can be no ‘sacred cows’ or ‘untouchables’ insofar as the Inquiry is concerned and appearance before the Commission should not be an option which any individual or party should seek to exercise,” the party said.
It added that the overall objective should be to arrive at the truth and any known individual or group with information considered helpful to the work of the Commission should be made mandatory to appear and share information at their disposal.
The PPP added: “It is clear that Granger and the PNC is seeking to belittle and denigrate both the decision to establish the Commission and the character of some of those who gave evidence in an attempt to shield itself from the shame and embarrassment which is emanating from the disclosures.
“The PNC is clearly in a denial mode as an increasing body of new information is coming up which links Granger’s PNC to the death of Rodney.”
“The truth is that no amount of denial will suffice to erase the agonising pain inflicted by the PNC on Guyana’s body-politic during that period in our history which will go down as the darkest and most painful episode in our political history.”
The ruling party stressed too that it feels justified in its call to have the Inquiry set up and views the evidence and confessions made so far by those who appeared and give evidence as a necessary condition for the restoration of our political health.
“It is the view of the Party that the Commission is tantamount to a Truth Commission as was the case of South Africa during the post-apartheid period which can only bring positive benefit to our society as it seeks to come to terms with its past,” the PPP said.