- “Jagdeo has to be stopped because he is going to destroy this country; he has already destroyed the PPP.”
- [O’lall] thinks once there is a credible opposition with a good Indian name, the PPP will lose in 2011. [ppp crime family inc. did fall nov 2011]
Freddie Kissoon – The last words of Joseph O’Lall
May 15, 2008 | By Administator | Filed Under Freddie Kissoon
I sat for four hours in Joseph O’Lall’s Prashad Nagar home interviewing him. Part of our exchange I did for one of these columns. A huge section of that conversation Mr. O’Lall restricted from being published. He cited two reasons. He didn’t want to aggravate the tensions with the President [jagdeo] because he intended to return to Government service and didn’t want to give the President an excuse for permanently banishing him from the public sector.
Secondly, he indicated to me that he wanted me to keep his toxic condemnation of the ruling PPP confidential because the party had promised him that it would help to exonerate him in his unfair (that was the word he used) dismissal by President Jagdeo. He also pointed out that any break with the PPP would have to occur after the organisation’s Congress later this year, the reason being that he wanted to table a motion for the party to name [moses nagamootoo?] its 2011 presidential candidate at that event.
Joseph O’Lall died and was buried last week. It was indeed a sad occasion against the background of his sudden employment termination. I am old enough and experienced enough to see angst, permanent pessimism and Shakespearian tragedy in the eyes of someone who speaks to me about their problems.
And I saw those throes in the eyes and on the visage of Joseph O’Lall. He struck me as a man who was no longer interested in life. In psychology there is the concept of “psychosomatic effect” meaning the unhappiness in the mind affects the body. Is it possible his death could be seen in that context?
Mr. O’Lall is dead. His family consists of one son, a step-daughter and a reputed wife. I believe Mr. O’Lall would have wanted me to publish the information he asked me to hold back on. Here are snippets of the entire interview.
First, Mr. O’Lall desired the PPP to remove Mr. Jagdeo as President. It was the first time in the interview that I felt he was becoming too emotional and too irrational. His eyes were wild, gesticulations canine, body language intemperate. He raised his voice so loudly that two young persons who were in the house upstairs ran down the steps to see if I was murdering him.
He looked at me with the visage of a mad man and said: “Jagdeo has to be stopped because he is going to destroy this country; he has already destroyed the PPP.”
I was cynical. Even though I was sympathetic to him because he proved with documentary evidence that he was fired without just cause, I was not impressed with his exclamations.
I fired back. I asked how come he arrived at that judgement only after a negative entanglement with the President. He responded: “I was working for my party; Comrade Cheddi put me in charge of energy.”
I went further: “So why didn’t you utilize your crucial role in the Georgetown arm of the party to pressure the PPP into regulating Mr. Jagdeo’s behaviour and policies.” It was that question that got Mr. O’Lall more worked up. Then he opened up to me.
Joseph O’Lall asserted that he didn’t think the PPP would be successful in securing his job back or any other form of public sector employment. You could have heard/seen the anger and chagrin in his voice and eyes as he spoke of being let down by the PPP. He gave the number of years he spent with the PPP and to be humiliated the way he was by President Jagdeo was heart-breaking.
I pursued him on the subject of the political bankruptcy of the PPP that dates back to the sixties and why someone like him that saw the mountain of evidence of backwardness remained inside. He would have none of it. He loved Cheddi Jagan and the PPP. Then he revealed why he was and will always be a PPP.
He said: “Freddie, I am a communist.”
He concluded that the PPP is a spent force, devastated by the Machiavellian politics of Mr. Jagdeo. For him, the game was over. He hinted that he was leaving for Trinidad to take up an appointment. There were more questions from me. He offered more fascinating answers. I probed him as to why he thinks the PPP is a spent force. His answer needs careful contemplation by the Guyanese people for its implications are frightening when you think of them.
Joseph O’Lall believed that there is no one holding the PPP together and that the vision and energy of those that Jagan left behind have run out. He said that these post-Jagan leaders have virtually given up and lacked the will to reshape the PPP. According to him, Jagan’s protégés have given the PPP to Mr. Jagdeo.
I enquired about Mrs. Jagan’s role. He was livid. He was completely finished with Mrs. Jagan. This is how he put it: “You know Freddie, I went to that woman after the President dismissed me. You know what she told me, Freddie? It was a government matter and not a party decision.”
I then asked what happens when Jagdeo goes. He thinks once there is a credible opposition with a good Indian name, the PPP will lose in 2011. As I was leaving, he put his hand on my shoulder, smiled for once and said, “Be careful, Freddie.”
I don’t know what he meant. I will never know; he’s dead.