Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
I recently engaged in a random unscientific process where I endeavoured to find out what the average Guyanese craved the most. I had envisaged such requests as wealth and maybe unending life. Strangely, none of those variables made the grade. Instead, almost everyone with whom I spoke wanted to live in peace, love, and harmony and enjoy the short period here on earth to the fullest.
While such a request sounds reasonable. It borders on the impossible owing to a broken political system underpinned by racism, corruption, and greed. There is absolutely no way that any Guyanese, regardless of their political persuasion, can envisage peace and security within a system of political oppression, spite, and favouritism, the treatment being meted out to Africans and other citizens who are perceived to be non-compliant to the ruling cabal.
Recently, WPA activist, regarded as a black militant, Tacuma Ogunseye made certain utterances at a public meeting that were met with public condemnation by government operatives and some sections of civil society. Ironically, these utterances emanated from several groups advocating peace and good governance who had adopted an insurrectionist stance during the reign of the APNU/AFC government while advocating for democracy.
Yet this sanctimonious group conveniently chose to glide over Jagdeo’s appeal to his base at Babu Jhaan, in March 2019 to chase government officials out of their communities. They have contracted a serious case of amnesia of the public thuggery and hooliganism meted out to President Granger and Dr. Karen Cummings in September 2019 by Bharrat Jagdeo, Irfaan Ali, and their cohorts. These incidents have failed to attract condemnation from the Private Sector Commission (PSC), the reasons being so clear that even Stevie Wonder can see. The PSC is always there to condemn the actions of Africans in their fight for good governance yet turns a blind eye to the indiscretions of government officials.
Amidst a vibrant call for ‘One Guyana,’ this oppressive regime continues to treat Africans differently, even trampling on their democratic rights. They then have the temerity to feign surprise at Ogunseye’s utterances when they should be examining the outcry from the perspective of a disgusted African group that feels subjugated, humiliated, and discriminated against and naturally, will devise appropriate means to demonstrate their frustration and will to be free.
The condemnation of Ogunseye, the charging of the East Coast Twelve for acts of terrorism, and the targeting of specific African leaders and communities will only serve to worsen, rather than improve relations between the dissenting groups. Resolving the extant problem requires first and foremost an understanding of the issues and the willingness of stakeholders to collectively work together in finding suitable and appropriate solutions. Our political leaders are more concerned with brinkmanship rather than adopting practical ways of quelling the hard issues leading to political instability.
Those who control the seats of power must work assiduously to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and justly. This cannot be done by isolating the views and general involvement of all stakeholders. The undermining of local government bodies, the wanton humiliation of non-supporters, attempts at sowing seeds of division in opposition strongholds and other undemocratic and immoral practices must cease if we are to progress in a peaceful environment.
A point of note; several MPs of the PNC have bravely condemned some aspects of the utterances emanating from the WPA meeting at Buxton. This is indeed commendable, and one wonders if a similar tact cannot be undertaken by the Africans in the highest echelon of the PPP in the relentless persecution, subjugation, and discrimination of Africans. Guyana would certainly be a better country! Sadly, enough, my African brothers and sisters seem not to have inculcated the basic precepts of ethnic identity and are blind or unable to recognize racism, thus making them complicit in the subjugation of their own race.
As we strive to improve the political climate, the various components of civil society must appreciate that they have a critical role to play and unlike the PSC, they can ill afford to represent partisan views. Many opined that the PSC is not an honest interlocutor since it enjoys a special relationship with the ruling party.
Guyana belongs to us, Guyanese, we all have equal rights and stakes in its development. The ‘One Guyana’ mantra is only apt when it is allowed to be effective and even then, when effectively juxtaposed with the nation’s motto, ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny.’ All other pronouncements will be discarded as fluff and empty rhetoric.