Dr Walter Rodney
Dr Walter Rodney
 “We are engaging the Working People’s Alliance and we will address that matter. It was a temporary measure. The sign which was there before was taken down and we will do all that is necessary to ensure that the law is observed and then we will put up the appropriate sign once that is done,” Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon told reporters yesterday.

Christened the Walter Rodney Archives in 2008 under the then PPP/C administration the name and the signboard which carried it quietly disappeared for months before it was brought to public attention by WPA elder Eusi Kwayana.

In a letter published in Saturday’s edition of the Stabroek News, Kwayana stated that he had been informed “that a big stick has removed the name of the celebrated scholar and that the name is now, once again, The National Archives.”

 Almost a week later it is still not clear who made the decision to remove the name but government has maintained that the former PPP/C  government never gazetted the name change making it illegal.

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Yesterday, Harmon stated that the publication of the matter was an attempt by the PPP/C to sow discord between members of the coalition and declared that it would not work.

“It was never gazetted. This issue came to the fore and the whole idea between doing that and in fact calling for a Commission of Inquiry weeks before the last general elections, was in our view, an attempt by the PPP to drive a wedge in the APNU between the rest of the parties in the APNU and the Working People’s Alliance”, Harmon said.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo in turn argued that the action was “vindictive” and that claiming it was never gazetted was just a public relations move.

 “You can’t PR a vindictive act. If we didn’t gazette it then fix it. Just gazette it, don’t change the board just gazette it,” he stressed at a press conference yesterday.

Asked why government had not taken this action which was likely to be cheaper than a new signboard, Harmon said they were now moving in that direction.