…cites reduction in crime, dedicated focus on education as reasons for re-election
By Tamica Garnett
PRESENTING President David Granger as the best leader to transform Guyana, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, has said that under the leadership of President Granger, the country experienced a reduction in crime and the age-old Guyana-Venezuela border controversy was referred to the International Court of Justice.
Harmon pointed to the increase in investments made to the Joint Services that has brought about a reduction in serious crimes across the country.
“You have made Guyana safe for all of our people, investing heavily in Guyana Police Force and Guyana Defence Force by equipping them and reorganising them to make our people feel safe. You have made Guyana safe again,” Harmon noted.
Harmon, who was at the time delivering remarks at the APNU+AFC rally at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora, Region Three, on Friday, spoke of how the President directed Guyana’s handling of the border controversy and improved relations within the Caribbean, returning respect for Guyanese citizens abroad.
“When everyone was saying Venezuela this and that, you went to the UN and stood there next to Nicholas Maduro. That arbitration award was final and we are prepared to test the matter, shows you are Guyanese to the bone and I salute you again,” Harmon said.
He added: “From the first day in office, our foreign policy was based on recognition that CARICOM is central to us. Because of that energy to CARICOM, no longer is there a Guyanese bench in Trinidad, no longer a Guyanese bench in Barbados. No more Guyanese benches. In fact people are coming to our shores to be part of what is taking place here.”
Harmon, who is also the APNU+AFC campaign manager, commended the President for his sacrifice and labour to the country, naming some of the many initiatives that the President has put in place in the past four years that have benefitted all Guyanese across the country.
“We are at the top of our game because of the leadership of David Arthur Granger. I salute you sir, because you have made our country proud, make every Guyanese proud. No matter where in the world Guyanese are, they are proud because of what has happened in our country over past four and a half years,” Harmon said.
Preceding Harmon’s speech were two students from the Patentia and Lenora secondary schools, who took to the stage to thank the President for the David Granger 5Bs Initiative, which provides transportation, free of cost, to take children to school.
The initiative, which started in 2016, provides busses, bicycles and boats and has proven to increase attendance of school children in schools all across the country. Another component of the programme also provides breakfast and books to the students. “The David ‘G’ bus helped us to get to school on time, every day. On behalf of the children of Region Three, we would like to say thank you Mr. President,” the students expressed, to wild cheers from the vibrant crowd.
Starting at around 17:00hrs, the event opened with inter-religious prayers by representatives of the Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities. The event also included a mini-cultural show, with speeches being interjected with performances by the Berbice Delight Dancers, Chutney singers, Bunty Singh and Steven Ramphal, and reigning Soca Monarch, Brandon Harding, all of whom have become staples at the party’s campaign rallies, much to the delight to the party’s supporters.
LOVE AND UNITY
As usual, the performers delivered messages of love and unity through their pieces. Harmon reminded that love and unity are two principles upon which the coalition government has been built. The formulation of the party through the coming together of a number of political parties, he noted, is indicative of this.
“Mr. President I salute you for taking six political parties and make it work as a coalition. You defied conventional logic which says coalition doesn’t work and proven to the world that coalition can work. When distant voices were saying that coalition can’t last, we should separate, you said we are better together,” Harmon said.
He added, “Mr. President, you have changed the political landscape of Guyana. Elections must never be about all to the winner and nothing to the loser. You recognise that unity is the strength to Guyana. Making an entire department of social cohesion within the Ministry of the Presidency, because you recognise what unity is to the people of this country.”
The first speaker of the night, Harmon also extended gratitude to First Lady, Sandra Granger, for being there for and supporting the President in his mission to make Guyana a more-developed country.
“I want to send this message to our First Lady, Sandra Granger, on behalf of all of the people of Region Three and the rest of the world. Thank you to her for standing by you through thick and thin, through sickness and health. We who serve with you as ministers, we know what time you wake up because by 03:00hrs you have a telephone call, a cell phone message, cell phone pin and all of that. While some people are asleep, you are awake. Those who know what time he goes to bed find out what time he wakes up,” Harmon said.
For those reasons and more, Harmon noted that the choice for citizens at the March 2 Regional and General Elections is clear.
“An ancient writer said the height of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden fight, but they, while their companions slept, toiled through the night. I salute you for toiling for the people of Guyana. For all of the above and more, on March 2 when you go to polling booth, remember what you are voting for, for APNU and our Commander-in-Chief and we salute you sir. So again, I say we are moving forward together,” he said.