I WRITE in response to an article in the Guyana Times of January 8, 2020 captioned “Govt. Commissioner’s walk-out breaks up GECOM meeting”. Because I am not certain Guyana Times will carry my clarification of the situation, I therefore seek herein to solicit the support of other media houses for the intended purpose.
The first point I wish to make is that Commissioner Charles Corbin had previously left the meeting, having indicated at the inception his desire to do so at a particular time.
My second point is I did not walk out from the meeting, but prior to leaving, I explained to the Chairperson why I was doing so. Guyana Times would have been better placed to report on this matter, if its reporter had sought an explanation from me about the reason/s that led to my departure from the session. For the benefit of readers. I use this opportunity to explain my actions.
I spent the entire night of Monday, January 6 and the early hours of Tuesday the 7th sitting in a chair while I tried to control my blood pressure, which was fluctuating between high and low. Eventually, at about 5:30am on Tuesday morning, I began to bleed through my nose, and had to seek medical treatment at the GPHC. Thankfully, as a result of the care and attention of the medical staff at the Accident and Emergency section of the GPHC, led by Doctors Morris and Tait, I was declared, sometime after noon, well enough to be sent home. My heartfelt thanks to Doctors Morris and Tait and the other caregivers for seeing me through that difficult period.
On arriving home, and in spite of the entreaties of members of my family, who advised me against attending GECOM’s meeting, which was scheduled for 1pm that day, I felt that because GECOM’s timelines could be affected by my non-attendance, it was incumbent upon me to attend, which I did. I take my responsibilities as a GECOM Commissioner seriously, and will not, like some of my colleagues who walked out of approximately 14 meetings in 2019, walk away from a GECOM meeting. I am on record at GECOM as saying that only serious illness or death will keep me from attending a meeting when I am required to do so. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the episode I encountered, I still felt that it was absolutely necessary for me to attend the meeting.
While I felt it was important to be at the meeting, I was not prepared to be part of what I considered to be the ridiculous behaviour of Commissioner Robeson Benn, who constantly throws tantrums, is disrespectful even to the Chairperson, and indulges in regular bouts of threatening and intimidatory behaviour to the Secretariat staff attending meetings of the Commission. It is that atmosphere which prompted my departure from the meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.