LAST Wednesday, Public Service Minister Sonia Parag was locked out of a building at Belladrum, Mahaicony, Region Five, by a small group of political persons who posed as the owners.
It is strange to note that one of the persons is a sitting member of Parliament for the Opposition, Vinceroy Jordan, who was very vocal.
Jordan reportedly told the minister that the community did not want development, and even if it decided to accept the goods and services which the central government was offering, it “must” come through the channels being the NDC or CDC. He then threatened the minister to exit the community before he called out the community.
This was even though Minister Parag was following the direction given by her boss, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, to follow up with a request made by residents of the community. She belaboured the point that she was there to meet with the residents and youths to discuss opportunities for GOAL scholarships and other skills training programmes and to get an assessment of the building to facilitate development.
Despite this, she was barred on the account of an audit to be done first. Then, there were a whole lot of political shenanigans.
First, the entire ordeal should be condemned in the strongest possible terms with the locking out of a sitting minister and parliamentarian.
To add insult to injury, the building was built, in part, by the government to be used for community enhancement and development.
Ministers should be allowed access at any given time to assess the assets or needs of a facility that operates under the guise of community good and development.
So, Jordan and his small group of strong men should be condemned by all right-thinking and law-abiding citizens for standing in Minister Parag’s way as she tried to execute her duties at the President’s instructions.
Secondly, there is no reasonable excuse for a parliamentarian like Jordan to stand in the way of the government’s intended development of goods and services for the people of Belladrum or any part of the country. He must be ashamed of his party’s stance and record in the community, as opposed to holding the race-baiting meetings and group engagements to strike down the development taking place in Region Five; he has not done a single thing for the community since being elected to parliament.
After all, residents want the building to be used solely for the community and people. It must meet the needs of youths by tackling skills training and job empowerment.
For Jordan to stand in the way of Minister Parag is tantamount to stifling the free flow of development and investment that the government plans to make in all communities.
Thirdly, Jordan was not acting alone. He has the full backings of IPADAG and its mother organisation, the PNC-led APNU+AFC Coalition. He ought to know the public is not fooled. They appear to know he is just executing the instructions of his master to stymie the government and stop the message of ‘One Guyana’.
Fourthly, Belladrum needs to access the development too. The residents are Guyanese too and must share in the spoils of development too, just like any other residents of Mon Repos, Rosignol, Bath and Sophia, regardless of who and which government organisation or NDC it comes through.
They do not care about politics. They are only interested in the benefits and not being discriminated against.
Finally, Jordan does not own Belladrum, nor does the APNU+AFC opposition. They might be political representatives of the community, but that is where the responsibility stops.
President Ali and his team of ministers must keep meetings and hold sessions with every single community in the country. They must listen to the people and seek to delegitimise the race-mongers and opposition political czars who only seek to promote hate and racial tendencies among people. His approach is, development is a must, and community development through the people is critical to enhance villages across Guyana.
Meanwhile, Belladrum, Mocha Arcadia, Sophia and Buxton, as well as all Afro-Guyanese communities must not be used as political scapegoats or bait. They must push back against those who would use their development as a political weapon.
While these communities languish in underdevelopment, the APNU+AFC politicians or Fat Cats, as they are referred to, are getting richer and have flourishing businesses. These opposition politicians drive around in their air-conditioned vehicles to party meetings while the residents remain in the same poor state as they were in 2015 because of the psychological abuse that the residents endure whenever they are presented with development by government.