OVER the last few weeks, I was approached by several prominent and eminent Guyanese appealing, advising, urging, suggesting, and pleading that I enter into formal service for, or on behalf of the nation.
“Isn’t it time that you now serve the nation,?” one person enquired.
The term “formal” was used because it is widely known that I “served” the nation voluntarily for over 50 years, much longer than current politicians on both sides. I entered service combatting electoral fraud; promoting Guyana abroad; engaging in charitable activities; reporting on diaspora community affairs; commenting on national and diaspora matters, among other altruistic services without seeking monetary rewards.
Some leading Guyanese suggest that I should now use my vast experience and skills to formally serve the nation as a paid adviser, consultant, diplomat, Minister of Government, technocrat or in some other capacity.
I am not averse to formal service. But I have not been approached to serve the nation in an official capacity. Politicians approached me in the past to provide free service to protect democracy and some of them were not ungrateful.
Dr Jagan approached me to join his administration, but I declined. He must have felt obligated to me for decades of struggle against rigged elections and rights abuses. I felt those who fought the dictatorship at home should get first preference of position and were more deserving. And at any rate, I was committed to academic research, rather than bureaucratic service.
Another President approached me to provide public relations service to his administration. I also declined his generous offer because what was being asked of me was not my thing. I prefer to be fair, balanced, objective, and a professional commentator and reporter rather than engage in certain questionable activities on behalf of any government.
Since the change of administration in August 2020, I was never asked to serve, but if asked, I would be willing to serve, providing I have competence in the field.