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Guyanese woke to the tragic news of the death of a young GDF officer, Lieutenant Rondel Douglas, whose life was taken by ruthless men who have no regard for human life, given by Almighty God. From the reports, Mr. Douglas was a believer, intelligent and committed to his family and job. That fatal evening of Wednesday, June 7, 2023, has left another family in our nation in deep pain.
Editor, our society appears to be is at its lowest ebb. The relative peace and social stability that citizens came to enjoy during May 2015 to August 2, 2020 have literally disappeared under the PPP/C’s lawless administration. Practically every day there is evidence of the breakdown of law and order. Incompetent management, unqualified and inexperienced officials bungling the work of their departments. The non-enforcement of protocols/regulations and the absence of the rule of law continue to contribute to the misery of persons at all levels of society. The loss of life, due to avoidable road accidents, fires, extra-judicial killings, robberies, and domestic violence, continues unabated. This is Wild West!
Where is the strategy to guide the work of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Social Services, the Ministry of Education, and other related ministries? What is the plan to address these systemic short comings? The ineptitude and incompetence of these Ministers and the Commissioner of Police continue to expose them daily.
Frequent reports coming from the desks of Minister Benn and the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hicken, say that “crime has decreased.” This is without the provision of a detailed report and statistics for the benefit of the public. The reality is that Crime has increased, and the reports of reduced crime are far removed from the truth.
I am aware that the Guyana Police Force has been recipients of motorcycles and vehicles, to aid them in responding to reports in a timely manner and for frequent patrolling in communities. However, there is need for continuous training to be done for Police Officers. During the Coalition Government, Officers and Ranks were sent on overseas training and the force was provided with the necessary assistance to address crime. Train them and assign them appropriately please. We cannot continue to lose lives because of incompetence and lawlessness.
Editor, the PPP/C regime has failed our youths. The education system has failed to adequately prepare primary school students for secondary school. Many are barely literate and perform dismally at the NGSA. Then the secondary school drop-out rate continues to be alarming. There is no serious plan to improve the employability skills of our youth. Additionally, there is a shortage of educated and qualified teachers in schools, but the cry for increased remuneration and better working conditions continue to fall on deaf ears. Education is the bedrock of any society. The installed government needs to stop buying votes and invest our wealth in the education system for the benefit of all Guyana.
Editor, the approximately 30 % who graduate from secondary schools with 5 or more subjects experience great difficulty obtaining jobs. Where are the 50,000 jobs promised 3 years ago? The meagre salary, of $40,000.00 being offered for part-time jobs, is a complete farce and another opportunity to reward friends, family and favourites. This is a failed system.
The time for talking is over. Let us act! Members of Parliament on the other side of the House have constituencies and are willing to work with the government and civil society to save our young people.
I extend my condolences to the families, relatives, and friends of Lieutenant Rondel Douglas and all those who have lost their loved ones recently under tragic circumstances. May Almighty God strengthen them at this time. I pray for Justice!
Annette Ferguson, MP