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…as PNCR Marks 36th death anniversary of Burnham
Amid a widening rift at Congress Place over his leadership, PNCR leader, David Granger on Friday called on party members to recommit to the ideals of its founder, Forbes Burnham by eschewing division and suppressing schisms, factionalism and opportunism.
Granger made the call against the backdrop of moves to oust him as leader over claims that he is a one-man-show and was ignoring the counsel of the Central Executive Committee. The current party leader has also been the subject of four no confidence motions passed by party groups in Georgetown, Region 10, East Coast Demerara and Region Five.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 36th Death Anniversary of Burnham, Granger said the founder leader was all about reinforcing the solidarity of the party by “knitting groups together, not splitting them apart; by building up, not breaking down; by multiplying – not dividing and subtracting – membership and by suppressing schisms, factionalism and opportunism.”
Burnham died on 6th August 1985. He was Guyana’s first Prime Minister and Executive President and Founder of the People’s National Congress.
Granger recalled Burnham’s vision, on entering office in 1964 at the age of 41 years, and his efforts to repair a fractured nation and restore social cohesion.
He said the late leader had a deep belief in the equality of women, ethnic groups and social classes and for opening opportunities for children and youth.
Burnham’s zeal for educating the nation and for erecting nursery, primary and secondary schools and opening the University and the College of Education campuses, we also noted by Granger, noting that he had a plan to abolish shanties, slums and squatter settlements by developing housing schemes and extending social protection of citizens through the National Insurance Scheme.
“Hs investment in bridges, highways and sea defences and an international airport and a national airline; his resolute resistance to external aggression and quelling internal insurrection that threatened our territorial integrity,” Granger recalled of the PNC founder.
He said PNC, today, recommits to preserving, protecting and promoting the Founder’s timeless life’s labours on sturdy institutions such as: Burnham Education Scholarship Trust, under the direction of Cdes. Yvonne Harewood-Benn, Alan Munroe, Cheryl Sampson and Oscar Clarke, to support secondary education; Forbes Burnham Research Institute, pioneered by Cde. Jeffery Thomas, to study the Founder’s ideas and ideology;
Forbes Burnham Foundation, pioneered by Cde. Elvin McDavid and advanced by Cde. Vincent Alexander to promote the Founder’s cultural, economic, social and political thought;
Burnham Book Trust, pioneered by Cde. Mark Archer to publish the Founder’s visual and written works; and, Forbes Burnham Centenary Commemoration Commission, under the patronage of Mrs. Roxanne Van West Charles, to celebrate the bi-centenary of the Founder’s birth in 2023.
“Forbes Burnham, who died at the age of only 62 years, bequeathed an immutable legacy to this nation. We have erected these intellectual institutions to impart his ideas to succeeding generations,” Granger added.