It is with utter amazement, if not amusement, that I observed a statement emanating from the Joint Services which is headed by Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Godfrey Bess.
On Wednesday, following numerous requests by members of the Disciplined Services to highlight their individual work and service to country, an online entity took a decision to make a call to all serving members of joint services (JS) – Defence Force, Police Force, Fire Service and Prisons – to reach out to us”
The entity noted “In our invitation to the JS members, we requested that they send us a photograph, their name, where they are stationed, and what motivated them to join the respective organisations in which they serve.
At 10:15 AM on Wednesday, I placed a telephone call to the Chief of Staff, where the idea was floated to him that we wish to celebrate our service men and women. Chief of Staff Bess agreed.
At 10:26 AM on Wednesday, I sent a WhatsApp message to Stan Gouveia, Deputy Head of the Corporate Communications Unit of the Guyana Police Force, and indicated to him that we wish to celebrate our men and women in uniform, and if he would ask the Commissioner if this initiative would receive his blessings. At 10:58 AM, I received a return message from Mr. Gouveia which said “The Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie, DSM gives his no-objection support to this initiative”.
At 11:00 AM on Wednesday, I telephoned Mr. Nicklon Elliot, Deputy Director of Prisons of the Guyana Prison Service, who was told of our intentions to celebrate our men and women in uniform. Like Chief of Staff Bess and Commissioner of Police Hoppie, Mr. Elliot agreed with the initiative and offered his support.
Efforts to contact the head of the Guyana Fire Service were unsuccessful.
At 12:40 PM, I received a call from telephone number 616-0289. On the other end of the call was someone who claimed to be calling on behalf of the Chief of Staff. The individual, who provided his name (but which cannot be recalled at this time) said that the Chief of Staff would like for the submissions of the information coming from the ranks, to be passed through his office, because it was asking the ranks to state where they are stationed.
I objected to that suggestion, stating to the caller that we do not consider the information of where a rank is stationed to be of harm to their service organisation, as we have no intentions of featuring individuals who are engaged in covert operations, those at Special Branch or conducting intelligence for any of the organisations that we had approached. Further to that, we would rather suspect that based on their training, the ranks performing those special operations would know that they cannot engage in the reckless behaviour of exposing their identities.
The online entity alleges that the statement released by the Joint Services only seeks to embarrass and portray the entity as misleading, since their statement deceitfully ignored and failed to mention that the heads of the organisations (excluding the Fire Service) which fall under the Joint Services, including the army whose head, Chief of Staff Bess also heads the Joint Services, all agreed to this initiative.
Building public trust, inviting the confidence of the public and seeking support from the fourth estate cannot be built on lies, deception, misinformation and manipulation.
The statement from the Joint Services seeks to confirm the very claims made by many within its services – that is to say, once you do not agree with a position being imposed by those in charge, they go all out to discredit you and/or put you in a bad light.
The entity notes to all the members of the joint services, that it cannot and will not be bullied. However while we have no obligation to act on the statement that seeks to intimidate this establishment, we would take a responsible position not to put your information out there as we do not wish for your respective heads to come after you. The entity noted that it will continue to be a public supporter of all members of the joint services, especially our junior service men and women who do not sit in offices all day but who are actually most at risk each time you put on those uniforms.
Disclaimer- (The views expressed are not those of the Editor or publisher of Guyana Daily News)
Leroy Smith- Journalist
Big Smith News Watch