– Granger tells Mahdia rally
– Regional Chairman says proud supporter of the APNU+AFC
By Alva Solomon
ONCE re-elected, the APNU+AFC administration will ensure that the revenues from the petroleum industry are injected into the development of all hinterland communities to ensure that residents enjoy the same lifestyle as those on the coastland.
This is according to President David Granger who was, at the time, addressing a large gathering at the oval in the Potaro-Siparuni town for a rally on Wednesday night. While addressing the gathering which included First Lady, Sandra Granger; Minister of Business, Ronald Bulkan; Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, and Regional Chairman, Bonaventure Fredericks, the President said that the time has come for the town to receive the same services, and be developed to the same level as other developed parts of the country. He said the coalition government will ensure that the various sums attained are expended to enhance the lifestyle of residents in the area. “You must get the same services that the people on the coastland get,” he said, as he told supporters, “Mahdia your time has come.”
Never again will the town be treated as a village, the President said, as he noted that the Opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) will never be able to take control of the region again. “This is a ‘green and gold’ region,” President Granger told the screaming crowd of supporters.
The Head of State noted that one of the proudest moments of his political career is converting the area into a township. He said that Mahdia now has its own town council thanks to Local Government Elections, which he noted has enabled the town to have its own local democratic governance structure.
The President noted that the Potaro-Siparuni Region may be the one with the smallest population but it has the potential for development. He said his administration will continue to ensure that this potential is realised.
The President noted that historically, Mahdia was the first area in Guyana to have hydropower via the Tumatumari project. He said the APNU+AFC will continue to exploit solar and wind generation projects in an effort to ensure that each household in the region has electricity.
Mahdia and nearby communities depend on gold mining and the President noted that in the past the town was the El Dorado for many persons, including those from Caribbean islands. He said that the government will continue to focus on the development of the industry, so that residents can continue to enhance their lives. “There will be economic growth,” he said.
The President noted too that the APNU+AFC is building from strength to strength. “This is a movement for all people, which is going to make Guyana a prosperous nation,” he said.
He said the government has looked into the social services of all Guyanese and those persons include pensioners, whose earnings have been raised significantly under the life of the APNU+AFC. He said public servants are now earning above the minimum wage of $70,000 as compared to $30,000 in 2015.
The President reminded the residents that the changes in the town came about because they threw their support behind the APNU+AFC in 2015. “And if you want the change to continue, you have to go out on the March 02 and vote for APNU+AFC,” he said.
The President also charged that the PPP failed the region in the past and according to him, that party is currently in failure mode, noting that the party did not even celebrate its 70th Anniversary earlier this year. “The PPP has failed to build partnerships with the people in the regions,” he said.
He noted that the party has failed to provide leadership to the region as well as stewardship to the needs of the residents of the region. “That is why they belong to the past, they do not belong in Guyana’s future, they belong in the garbage bag of history,” he said, as the crowd erupted in applause. The President called on Mahdians to ask themselves what the PPP was “doing for 23 years.”
He reminded residents of the dark days of the PPP’s rule in the years after 2000. He said that “dark decade” included numerous murders including that of a sitting minister, noting that these occurred under the rule of Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo.
He said that there are monuments at Buxton, the town of Bartica and at police headquarters in the city, which remind the populace of the “decade of death” under the PPP. He urged residents for their support to ensure that those dark days of the PPP are not repeated.
At Wednesday’s rally, the President also expressed appreciation for the support given by the Region Eight Chairman, who recently switched support from the PPP to the APNU+AFC. Fredericks made his stance clear when he told the Guyana Chronicle last month that he has seen numerous areas of development in the town under the coalition.
On Wednesday night, while urging supporters to re-elect the APNU+AFC for second term, Fredericks noted that the PPP has made several allegations against him for his recent move. He refuted these noting that he stands by his word of putting the people before party allegiance. “I have been wearing the red for years and you see what I have on tonight,” as he pointed to his green apparel.
He said in life one has to make decisions, which will not always be popular. “In Potaro-Siparuni we have seen development, we have development that we never had before,” he told the large gathering, noting that this led to his decision to work with the APNU+AFC.
Fredericks said he was called a traitor and many other names by the opposition, but he brushed it off noting that the decision he made hurt the PPP. President Granger expressed appreciation to the Regional Chairman for his support, noting that he has “seen the light”. He said Fredericks has seen what the majority of the people in the region have seen, and that is, that the government is concerned about the welfare of all Guyanese. He said the multi-party coalition serves all Guyanese and according to him, more people are abandoning the PPP. “Thank you for your generous support,” the President told supporters.