THE farce being played out in Parliament post elections November 2011 in the
gleefully-touted “new dispensation”, with the opposition, which barely eked out a one-seat majority from six votes trying to railroad the Executive into bowing to their will through various stratagems, is constraining the government from optimally capitalising on the socio-economic gains they have achieved during Bharrat Jagdeo’s administration, which left the country poised for a catalysation into the stratosphere of social development and economic growth for this country and its people.
Along with their recalcitrance in the National Assembly, their antics in their strongholds – such as Buxton, Linden, Agricola, and now reaching out to Bartica and Ann’s Grove, leading to destruction of public and private properties, dislocation of citizens, thefts, assaults and even deaths, have left this country reeling from shockwave after shockwave, destroying much gains made in this country during the recent past.
Months ago, opposition elements were called by ACDA’s Tacuma Ogunseye, members of the political opposition and some other perennial troublemakers to take to the streets again – a call that sent terror into the hearts of Guyanese, of many members of the Guyana Police Force and their families who survived the periodic opposition reign of terror, of the business community, and of decent Guyanese of every ethnic extraction who have been the victims of bandits, and of the PNC’s nefarious X-13 Plan and ‘slow fire, more fire” strategy that was intended to wrest power at any cost to the nation.
The members of the “resistance movement” need to survive, and most of them are not gainfully employed, preferring to wrest the wherewithal for their living with the force of the gun rather than from the sweat of their brows, despite the many opportunities currently prevailing through the several projects and systems implemented by the government and other entities, and a steadily-accelerating construction boom that has taken dynamic dimensions through the government’s housing programme and the extant entrepreneurial adventurism that has been facilitated by the government’s free-market policies and the investment and divestment paradigm created by the liberation of the economy.
The nexus between the PNC/APNU/AFC and the bandits have been made evident many times – when they draped the coffin of notorious thief and murderer, Linden (Blackie) London with the flag of Guyana – the symbol of our nation’s honour; and their open championing over the years of thieves, rapists and murderers, without giving a thought for the innocent persons, including innocent babies and young women, slain and despoiled by these predators, of those police officers who refused to respond to the “kith and kin” call wantonly slain, with their families and the nation left bereft and traumatised, when they went to Linden, Agricola and elsewhere and agitated the people, with the resultant public and private losses and a constriction of the national development paradigm.
In the wake of the orchestrated jail-break and the formation of the Buxton and Agricola gangs, innocent persons were being slain like flies all across the country. Multi-murders were committed with impunity – of a group of friends having a drink in a bar, of a family at a wedding or funeral, of persons merely walking on the street, shot at random by gunmen who easily escaped for the law-enforcement officers were themselves terrified, because members of the police force were specially targeted.
Almost every time the PNCR and/or its satellites marched, large sections of the city went up in flames, with business houses looted, ordinary workers and schoolchildren robbed, injured and sexually-molested in open view, even at the parks. One PNCR candidate/ACDA member and strident talk-show host was caught on camera with a bucket at a government gas station while the city was burning.
Terror stalked the land – because no-one was spared. A poor man going fishing at 4:00 a.m. to augment the family income with his 8-yr-old son was slaughtered. Sugar workers were killed in the backdam. Even their own “kith and kin” who would not join them - entire families, such as the Chesters in Buxton, were targeted. Homes were burnt with entire families inside. The few brave policemen who stood up to the gangs were slaughtered one by one.
No one could transit the East Coast corridor without fear of attack. A 10-year old Canadian girl was visiting Guyana for the first time with her Corentyne-born parents when marauding gangs from Buxton stopped their car, looted their valuables, then chopped them up. The little girl’s thigh was chopped to the bone.
Georgetown Chamber of Commerce CEO Dev Sharma and his wife Maria was a young professional couple with a son and a daughter who were the apples of their eyes.
They had made unrelenting sacrifices in an unremitting struggle to reach the heights they did.
While others chased the American dream they chased the Guyanese dream and when they bought their own home they deliberately chose to live in Agricola – because they believed in the Guyanese people.
Within months their home was invaded and robbed, Dev’s wife was shot, and he was kidnapped and taken to Buxton, from where he fortuitously escaped.
Today the traumatised couple have taken their children and fled to America, leaving all they had painstakingly acquired to build a new life in an alien land.
And the government was helpless, because the police force was crippled by fear (and corruption at some levels). They kept the gates of police stations locked at many locations, because the bandits often wilfully shot police to death inside the police stations.
Then the bodies of the bandits started turning up. Gun battles were being waged in the streets, in houses located in respectable communities where the bandits were hiding out.
Decent citizens cautiously started venturing out once more. The country slowly, painfully returned to a semblance of normalcy.
But the PNCR, the AFC and their supporting NGOs, the GHRA et al, which had been notably silent when atrocities were being committed on the police and innocent citizens, started clamouring about a “phantom squad” killing innocent young men, even though these “innocent” young men had been wanted for some of the most heinous crimes known to mankind: and for the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Gajraj.
With the exception of the opposition elements, the entire nation breathed a collective sigh of relief when the police eliminated the marauding gangs.
In the USA, law-enforcement agencies have been known to approve, even encourage and facilitate gangland wars, because the eradication of one gang by the other is much to be desired, especially if the pursuits of the victorious gang, while reprehensible, are not as catastrophic to the nation as the pursuits of those vanquished, and may have even have helped to stabilise the security of the nation to manageable proportions.
The opposition has criminalised many of their young supporters, because while their own children are studying in universities abroad, and living luxurious lifestyles, they are encouraging the young children of their supporters to go onto the streets and rampage so that they can get into the corridors of power once more.
The legacy of the successive PPP/C administrations, under each of its Heads-of-State, is one of constructive policies, social enhancement, economic growth and, above all, putting the people first through charting development with the human face of the collective Guyanese peoples.
But the legacy of the PNC is the destruction of all the worthwhile things in this nation – most of all the trust that Guyanese have for each other.
However, under the watch of the current administration, the face of a united Guyanese nation is inexorably emerging from a map work of cultural diversities to forge a national identity of a people with a common destiny; and it is this national human construct that will ensure that no power-hungry despot will ever again rule this land and subjugate the nation.