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Fellow Guyanese allow me to first offer special Eid-Ul-Adha greetings to all members of our Islamic community and Guyanese wherever they may be.
This holy day commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham was made a public holiday by an earlier administration. The day reminds us of the significance of Abraham’s obedience to high authority and sacrifice. Cardinal principles that should allow us in these testing times to follow faithfully the usefulness of obedience and the willingness to make sacrifices, no matter how great.
A Happy and pensive Eid- Ul-Adha in Guyana and every corner of the globe.
Perhaps, this is an opportune moment for Guyanese, young or old of every religious persuasion and belief to seek in whatever way we can divine intervention to save our country from what could very well be distress and tribulations.
This state of affairs hangs over our collective heads, like the proverbial sword of Damocles. The irony is that with this enormous money now available to our Government, it can be a curse, that is, if those in control of these massive resources are not imbued with a sense that allows them to differentiate between right and wrong, to appreciate that justice in its best sense of the word must be meted out to all and sundry and that obedience to divine authority should be our guiding light.
Our Head of State, we are told is a Muslim and he should be true to Islam, this means submission, surrender or commitment to Allah and according to one historian, it expresses the innermost attitude of those who have hearkened to the preaching of Mohamed (to whom be peace) and Muslim means one who meets or does Islam.
This means simply that the bounty now available must be shared by all and citizens are accordingly allowed to benefit from their mental and physical efforts and be the beneficiary of the suffering and sacrifice of their ancestors.
Six decades ago, a learned Judge in a written decision described a PPP activist, as a person of meagre moral fibre. Today, this description sits well for the scores of men and women in control.
We are in a situation today where our Government thrives on propaganda techniques and the soft, sweet sounding phrases of our Head of State and Commander-in-Chief.
Fifty years ago, persons in the US and elsewhere were trying to understand how intelligence leaders in the great democracy of the United States could have engaged in an unwinnable war in Vietnam taking the lives of thousands of young servicemen and women.
Here in Guyana, because the Government has frustrated meetings of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, we have no idea of the millions being frittered away. In the meantime with usual fanfare, announcements are made for the building of schools, bridges, hospitals, roads, etc with dubois tender processing.
We recall the fiasco of inferior building materials and incomplete works at Cato. The Contractor was banned but yet was awarded the Contract for works at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School. This is just the tip of the iceberg and citizens are not allowed to hear the real story beyond the pious pronouncement of certain Ministers and with so many things happening, these and other similar matters are swept under the carpet.
So we build health centres, hospitals, schools and there is little evidence that we are vigorously proceeding with the programme to provide adequately trained personnel to man and maintain these facilities.
So we are preparing the groundwork to bring in persons alien to our culture to teach and provide medical services. There is also the debauchery of sections of our security forces of letting loose on the public untrained and therefore ill-prepared personnel. But sweeping matters under the carpet is the new modus operandi.
Last week the President of the Guyana Public Service Union, on the occasion of the United Nations Public Service Day painfully alluded to the principles and practices of our Public Service and referred to Conventions including ILO Conventions ratified by Guyana but breached with impunity by the Government.
Among the Conventions subscribed and ratified by the Government of Guyana is Article 38G which states the integrity of the Public Service is guaranteed. No public officer shall be required to execute or condone irregular acts on the basis of higher orders. More importantly, the senior public servant should at least notionally not be openly or even tacitly aligned to a political party.
The intention here is that the senior public servants should be like Caesar’s wife yet we have the Head of a key Ministry, that is Home Affairs going off to China on a training course designed specifically for PPP Members. The fact that her visa was canceled and her mobile phone seized by the Americans speaks volume, yet we are still to get a plausible explanation from the powers that be.
The question the public is entitled to have answered is does our Head of State or the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs supports this dual role or is it a duplicity of a very Senior Public Officer?
Mind you dear citizens, hour by hour, day by day we are assailed by asserverations about accountability and transparency.
Later this week, I will seek answers to other questions, seeking answers for no other reason that like the majority of decent citizens, we’d like to set Guyana on the road to glory and not damnation.
I write to help avoid the spread of a culture of cowardly silence and unconcern by some folks. This perhaps is a dangerous situation as it allows demonic forces to eat away the freedom won by many of our ancestors.
Remember the cries of Martin Niemuller, a Lutheran Pastor
“ In Germany they came first for the Communist
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew
Then they came for the Trade Unionist,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
And I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
And by that time, no one was left to speak up.”
Let us continue to speak up so that we can shake and topple the ramparts of arrogance, corruption and their monolithic doctrine evident in our Guyana today.