‘Game over for racism as political weapon’ – President Ali
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President Dr. Irfaan Ali engages a group of women during his recent community outreach to Den Amstel, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) (Office of the President photo)
President Dr. Irfaan Ali engages a group of women during his recent community outreach to Den Amstel, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) (Office of the President photo)

–asserts gov’t working with all communities

GUYANESE from every community will be met where they are by the President and the government so that their welfare needs are met, and all citizens can enjoy the benefit of ‘One Guyana’ unified in development.

This was the sentiment shared by President Dr. Irfaan Ali on Wednesday in a video statement where he strongly condemned the tactics of the opposition A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) in their recent ploy to block Public Service Minister Sonia Parag from accessing a public space in Belladrum, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).

Incidentally, the action comes after a public meeting at Mocha, on the East Bank of Demerara a few nights ago where Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton made statements about how communities could respond to government ministers.

This, however, is not the way the President Dr. Irfaan Ali-led People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government intends to do business.

“This government is going to work in every single community,” President Ali asserted, noting that what bothers him is that there appears to be political operatives “at the behest of a central command” who have been obstructing the work of the government in different communities.

Repeating, as he did during an engagement in Mocha-Arcadia in September, that no political party controls any community, President Ali said those obstructing the work of the government have “used the propaganda of race and the propaganda of division so intensely in their political work that the sight of ministers of government working in every community and destroying that narrative… is really hitting them hard”.

“Your political narrative of using race as your mobilising tool has come to an end! Game over!” President Ali said, adding:

“We are going to destroy it, and bury it in the ground. As President, I am going to work in every single community.”

The President called on Guyanese to recognise that his government is intent on embracing every citizen on development. “Many persons who are seeing and working with us on this massive agenda in these very communities are being ridiculed,” the Head of State said, urging those persons to remain committed to their community’s development.

Calling on Guyanese to reject those he called a “selective group” who obstruct the work of the government, but also claim that the ministers are not visiting the communities, President Ali denounced the utterances of that group as false.

Minister Parag’s visit to Belladrum on Tuesday when the incident occurred was a follow-up visit from a community outreach that was held by President Ali last month in the West Coast Berbice village.

Minister Parag was tasked with engaging residents in that community on the development initiatives the President committed to last month.

Speaking with this publication in a telephone interview on Wednesday, Minister Parag said that she was not entirely surprised by the behaviour of the APNU+AFC activists in Belladrum, which included APNU+AFC parliamentarian Vinceroy Jordan.

“Their modus operandi are really terrible politics; gutter politics is what they play.

“So, I’m not surprised by what they would do to try to keep this government out of a community. But that is not a problem, because I’m still going to go and try to help; and our government is still going to commit ourselves to help all Guyanese in all communities,” Parag commented.

Minister Parag said her main concern with the situation is that the Opposition members are doing more harm than good in trying to hinder development in communities, and by trying to dissuade residents from working along with the government.

“We are going to move past this by going into the communities, and continuing to listen to the people, and, as best as we can, help to develop those communities along with the residents,” she said.

“All these communities that we go in, we find that the people want development. They’re calling for it; they are not on the same page as these few persons [associated with the APNU+AFC] who are trying to stymie the development,” she adde4d.

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