President vows govt will “destroy” and “bury” race as political mobilisation tool

Last Updated on Wednesday, 9 November 2022, 19:27 by Denis Chabrol

In the wake of a fracas between Public Service Minister Sonia Parag and 2nd Vice Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice, President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday said his government was determined to ensure that race was not used to mobilise supporters across Guyana.

“Your political narrative of using race as a mobilising tool has come to an end. It is over! Game over! We’re going t0 destroy and it bury it in the ground. As President, I’m going to work on every single community so this directive that you’ve given to block ministers and to block villages is not going to work because the people are coming along,” he said.

During the disagreement between Ms Parag ad Mr Jordan, a number of other residents were seen saying that they wanted development in their communities. They also disputed a claim by Chairman of the Community Development Council Julian David that a community building was recently broken into and items were stolen and instead said the incident had occurred some time ago and a report had been lodged at a nearby police station.

The confrontation between the Public Service Minister and the PNCR 2nd Vice Chairman came less than one week after PNCR and Opposition Leader suggested strongly what should be done when government ministers go communities like Mocha. Ms Parag has reportedly been spearheading several initiatives in that East Bank Demerara community considered a PNCR stronghold. “You know our supporters are Christian-like. You all remember (PPP General Secretary Bharrat) ) Jagdeo had told them when (then President David) Granger go in he village, they must chase he out. Well, I’m not telling you all to do that. Let your sense determine what you do because we shouldn’t have those jagabats coming here,” Mr Norton told Mocha residents.

For his part, the President did not name anyone or organisation behind the verbal disagreement between Minister Parag and Mr Jordon nut strongly suggested that it was orchestrated at the senior level of that entity. “What is bothering is that it seems some political operative at the behest of a central command has been directed to obstruct the work of the government in different communities; has been directed to create barriers for the government in different communities,” Dr Ali said.

The PNCR Leader accused four unnamed residents of Mocha who were selling out their village to the PPP because they were in trouble.

The Community Development Council Chairman at Belladrum demanded that the elected body be first consulted by government before work is done. President Ali had dismissed that call saying instead that his administration would work with people in communities.

The PNCR-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has repeatedly charged that Ali-led administration has been giving lip-service to his concept of ‘One Guyana’ as the Indo-Guyanese backed People’s Progressive Party Civic administration has been doling out cash grants to fisherfolk and sugar industry workers who are part of their political constituency, while neglecting Afro-Guyanese communities.