OVER the past few days, Mayor Ubraj Narine and a group of councillors backed by Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton played a dangerous political game with the people of Georgetown.
Narine accused the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Administration of discriminating against the Afro-Guyanese because they were not allowing illegal streetside vending to take place in Georgetown during the holiday season.
He went further to accuse President, Dr. Irfaan Ali of being a racist and questioned if he did not want to work with him to resolve the issue that the people had because Narine was a Hindu and Ali a Muslim.
Narine proclaimed his love for the people and declared this love by saying, in essence, that he was prepared for the “struggle.”
Then, the opposition APNU+AFC and Norton saw an opportunity to get themselves involved now publicly to champion the allegation that the PPP Administration was discriminating against Afro-Guyanese.
Norton even had an address to the nation in which he stated that the government was pushing the people to the brink. He called, among other things, for people to resist the PPP Government.
Later, there was a security breach at State House, during which the perpetrator was shot and caught but not before injuring at least one of the guards who is attached to the State House security detail.
Firstly, every right-minded and law-abiding citizen should strongly condemn the attempts to enter the President’s residence. The safety and security of President Ali should be relooked at, and reassessed because of how the events unfolded.
This is serious and there should be a probe conducted by the Guyana Police Force and security apparatus operating within the Presidential Guard.
Also, the perpetrator should be kept confined from every possible person that could interfere with him until he is well enough to talk to the investigators before he is charged and processed through the courts.
The probe into this chilling incident must not end until the public knows if he acted alone or who is the intellectual author(s) behind this dastard attempt.
The Police Force must not act rashly as they have done in the past. They must act intelligently, responsibly and calmly.
Secondly, the Mayor has said and done some things in the past that has landed him in the hot water, but he has crossed the line with his allegations of racial discrimination.
The crux of the matter is that those allegations made by Narine are untrue, baseless and in conflict with the facts regarding the standoff between the vendors and the government.
It seems like the mayor is supporting breaking the laws and the city’s bylaws, and knows he is just being opportunistic. He wants, from all appearances, to engage in political sensationalism and is a stranger to the truth.
He knows the position of the government on the subject of illegal vending in not just Georgetown but all across the city all year round. The PPP government has removed illegal vendors from Charity, Lenora, Mon Repos, Anna Regina, New Amsterdam, Corriverton and countless places.
So, this discrimination cry is a political exercise and sham. Narine wants to use the Afro-Guyanese vendors at this time to score some cheap political points.
Maybe he is using them to gain political prominence or to add to the opposition campaign of the false “struggle.”
Sadly, his comments and questions about religion are shameful and disgraceful. They are pushing the envelope and deserve no answer from right-thinking Guyanese who are living in Guyana and know that the Head of State’s ethnic, religious and political tolerance has no bounds.
Thirdly, the lawlessness and ignorance shown by some Afro-Guyanese about real issues are alarming. They are allowing Sherod Duncan, Roysdale Forde, Amanza Desir, Norton and Narine to lead them down a pathway of confrontation in the name of this fake struggle.
Afro-Guyanese must be smart and intelligent to know the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They must recognise the motive of these so-called activists and politicians. They must resist them and resist the call to move to the streets or else they risk being exposed to unkind assumptions and justifications. This is simply not true. It is sad for educated Afro-Guyanese leaders to use their people in such a way as to paint the fallacy of racial and political discrimination true.
One must see political agitation for what it is and nip it consciously in the bud. Finally, persons need to observe carefully what transpired Friday and the opposition’s hand in the incident with the vendors.
This is clear for all to see. It is irresponsible and puerile of the opposition to think that Guyanese would not see the opposition’s racial, misogynist and racially divisive statements made over the last few days that could only be described as irresponsible and reckless, especially in light of what transpired on Friday.