…as President vows to topple “mother of all crimes”President David Granger’s recent pronouncement that his Government intends to legally dent the narco trade in Guyana, is being described by General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and former Security Minister, Clement Rohee as rhetoric.PPP General Secretary Clement RoheePresident David GrangerPresident Granger during the recording of his weekly telecast – The Public Interest – said that drug trafficking is a key antecedent of crime and he pledged to bring it to an end.Guyana is regarded as a key trans-shipment point for drugs and according to the President this is helping to fuel the country’s spiralling crime situation. While acknowledging that it is not the only factor for crime, the president said that once illegal drug continues to enter Guyana, it would be very difficult to control crime.The president, while dismissing the notion that his government did very little during its 16 months in office, Granger said that it is unfair to look at just the last 16 months, adding that “You cannot ignore the fact that this has built up over the last 16 years.”He went on to highlight that his administration thus far has established the National Anti-Narcotic Agency under Major General (ret’d) Michael Atherly and has been engaging the National Security Committee, which he (the President) chairs on a more frequent basis.“We have set up the institutions. The National Drug Strategy is being re-issued. We are conducting investigations into an aircraft coming into our airspace and taking other measures to make sure that narco-trafficking comes to an end. I personally chair the National Security Committee every week. We won’t take extreme measures but we are definitely going to bring narco-trafficking to an end,” Granger said, adding that the National Security Committee has been examining activities and initiatives for the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), the anti-narcotics unit of the police, GRA and Customs.However, the President said that the law enforcement agencies lack the necessary resources to fight the drug trade.“We do not have the resources. We do not have the aircraft to patrol our borders, we do not have the ships to patrol our sea space, we do not have the vehicles to control the land space to bring these crimes to an end but we are working on it. We are trying to help the police be able to get where the crimes occur,” he said.However, Rohee during a Monday press conference at his PPP Headquarters, Freedom House, Robb Street, Georgetown, said that the President was only making excuses for his administration’s failure to fight crime, pointing to Barry Dataram fleeing the jurisdiction undetected, just before a city magistrate handed down a hefty fine and a jail sentence on him for trafficking in almost 300 pounds of cocaine.“I have this to say, if drug-trafficking is the mother of all crimes, then Granger’s administration is the father of all excuses,” Rohee declared.He said President Granger should move from “speculation and hypothetical propositions” about the sources of crime in a Guyana context and present the statistics and the evidence to justify his assumption.“He hasn’t done so; yet he is bold enough to make these reckless statements,” Rohee argued.The former Security Minister said the President, a former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), is gloating about the establishment of a National Anti-Narcotics Agency; his weekly meetings of the National Security Committee; the establishment of a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Office here and the re-launch of the National Drug Strategy Masterplan, yet Dataram was able to escape.“If Mr Granger couldn’t stop Dataram from escaping how will he bring an end to Narco-trafficking?” Rohee asked.He also raised a number of questions regarding how Dataram managed to flee the country: “Who facilitated him with fake documents? Was a deal cut in exchange for his escape? How come law enforcement knew that he crossed the Corentyne River to Suriname, and that he did not go to Brazil or Venezuela? How did he manage to elude Operation Dragnet? How come he was able to know when and where road blocks were set-up and to avoid them?”Rohee described the escape as “a shame and disgrace.”He also took the President to task over his declaration that the local law enforcement was ill-equipped to tackle crime and the drug trade, but is not using his office to procure the necessary equipment of which he spoke.“While they were in the opposition, they pressed for these items to be procured for law enforcement, however, now that they are in the government there is nothing stopping them from buying these items for law enforcement. Again, all we are hearing are excuses and more excuses from the father of all excuses,” Rohee said.