AS the Guyanese nation embraces 2021, most of our citizens are now breathing easier after an extremely frustrating and fearful five-year subversion at the hands of PNC-led APNU+AFC operatives. Under the corrupt cabal, our citizens experienced the convulsions of widespread economic disaster, and widely expressed fear of the precipitous paralysis of possible continuous destructive civil unrest. The high likelihood of the emergence of a police state in reaction to what could have become an outright destructive civil war was not easy to fathom.
The general sigh of relief comes after a keen but triumphant struggle that finally overwhelmed the most threatening and almost viral attempts at ‘rigging’ of our General and Regional Elections. Although the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious concern, various forms of assistance are now being provided to the democratically elected Irfaan Ali-led government. No doubt, a sense of renewed hope has been invigorated, thanks to their excellent work.
The young and vibrant PPP/C government ministers under the astute leadership of His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali, are certainly walking the walk. In so doing, they are on the move taking the government and solutions to the people, while making Guyana a better place for all Guyanese. It is indeed heartening to see the ministers and their technical staff in the fields almost daily, listening to citizens’ issues and implementing initiatives to improve their well-being. The ministers’ presence alone is a source of comfort to our people.
It is now necessary for all citizens to exhibit the sense of nationalism required, that would support and adrenalise the positive progressive movement needed to holistically complement the swiftest development benefits. As we move on from the disastrous “leap year” 2020, all the indicators so far assist in the encouraging visualisation of a prosperous 2021 and beyond. Our nation, therefore, must advance the resolve to live as one united people in love and harmony.
Editor, there is no intention to convey that a harmonious pathway will set aside the egregious always-looming threats to the cantankerous PNC/GECOM combination. One must recognise that the central pillar for our effective forward movement is that of a recognised democratic front. Our own experiences provide many deleterious confirmations of the devastating impact caused by the tough 28 years of PNC rigging from the 1960s to 1992. It took our country from being the food basket of the Caribbean to the most poverty-stricken country in this hemisphere.
Without aforethought, therefore, the last five years serves to remind us that the entire world stood up for Guyana to stop the ‘rigging of elections’ and the year 2020 will never be forgotten. It is rational that the total eradication of all possible threats must be pursued swiftly. The emphasis on the Local Government Election this year lends equally to the importance of this critically important pillar. The PPP/C’s notification that budget allocations will be provided to fund these elections must be applauded.
Notwithstanding, the same cannot be said at this time for GECOM. Diversionary tactics inundate the general framework, making any talked-about plan unacceptable without transparent efforts to cleanse the organisation of clearly compromised staff. The Guyanese people must speak out, holding their pride to show the world that the international support received in the struggle for free and fair elections will be preserved and held in the highest esteem.
The five months from March to August was indeed frustrating as our nation struggled against the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the more dangerous ‘Rigged Elections’ epidemic. We must never forget the strong stand of our comrades and patriotic Guyanese of all walks of life in this struggle. Particularly the dynamic leadership provided by the People’s Progressive Party led by the mature Champion of the Earth, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, and team, that realised the restoration of democracy to our beloved Guyana.
There is no denying that an overwhelmingly united PPP/C then and now, is the real visible base and catalyst for the thrust in the development take-off of our country. It is this unquestionable, initiative-driven cohesiveness of the PPP leaders that continues the sustenance of momentum in progressive national rewards. It is appropriate to recognise in this respect, the maturity of Dr. Jagdeo who according to veteran politician Clinton Collymore, is a man of substance that played the lead role in keeping the PPP/C together, while ensuring that democracy prevails.
January 01, 2021 (the time of writing) being the 71st anniversary of the PPP, the great sacrifices of the party’s founder members, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Mrs. Janet Jagan, Mr. Ashton Chase, along with J Hubbard is recalled. While the solidity of the approaches they instilled continues to serve as an inspiration to members, the new cadre consisting of General-Secretary Dr. Jagdeo; President, Dr. Irfaan Ali; Attorney-General, Mr. Anil Nandalall et.al, must be recognised and acknowledged for their seamless fluency.
The party looks forward to their excellent stewardship in 2021, which must be the year when we must fully resolve to make our beautiful Guyana a source of pride. Further, along the way, the world must see that we are indeed thankful for their support in our time of need. Free and fair elections are required, and we must ensure that GECOM is cleaned up.