Manzoor Nadir, who has served as a Government Minister in the incumbent PPP/C administration since 2001, yesterday resigned from The United Force (TUF). He however endorsed statements by the new party leadership that the government has failed the Amerindian people.
Valerie Lowe, a former teacher, and now a businesswoman who operates under the name “Kalodian Advertising” which is run from the TUF headquarters in Georgetown, was selected as the presidential candidate at a party conference Sunday. Ishmael Joseph was selected as the Prime Ministerial candidate.
Lowe said that she was “surprised” by the decision of the party membership to contest this year’s general elections, since there was an earlier thought that the party should skip the upcoming elections, mobilise and then go to the 2016 polls.
However, she said that with the unanimous decision of the party to contest the elections she is ready to lead the way and would try her best. Lowe, who has been a TUF member for the past 15 years, said she admired the loyalty of the party’s members.
She said that the party membership had indicated that if the TUF did not go to the polls, they would not vote for the current PPP/C government but would vote for the opposition parties. But now, she said the party is “doubly happy” that the party’s conference has decided to go to the polls and to choose a woman to lead at that.
Lowe said that on the campaign trail, the party will be appealing to its faithful – the Amerindians – whom she said remain disadvantaged despite efforts of both the PNC government that served for 28 years and under the current PPP government which has been in power since 1992.
“We are going to go into every region and every village where Amerindians are to let them know that we will work for them,” Lowe said at a press conference.
She said that Amerindians have not been able to turn on taps and get waters like those on the coast do, and Amerindian children still have to walk or paddle for miles to get to school.
“It’s wrong,” Lowe declared.
She said too that under her leadership, the TUF will fight the cause for women, many of whom are reported in the newspapers as having been beaten, chopped or killed.
Nadir endorsed the comments of the party executive Marcir Borreto that the Presidential Grants or “handouts” given out to Amerindian leaders for projects in their communities have not worked because the projects were not properly planned so the projects end up failing.
Boretto said there seems to be the exercise of party paramountcy under the PPP/C more than there was when Forbes Burnham headed the now main opposition PNCR.
He said that party machinery is still being used to “direct things” in the regions. Boretto said that migration of young Amerindians from their villages continue with the opening of the Takutu Bridge, which allows greater access to Brazil.
The young people migrate to the coastland and other areas, such as mining sites, for work. While he said migration on the whole is not the problem, many of the young Amerindians, male and female, are exploited.
He said that there is much that could be done to help the situation if Amerindian organisations and government join forces to work Amerindian village councils.
Nadir said that he retains his TUF membership but did not declare his political intentions beyond this year’s general elections. He said that he would be available to serve in whatever capacity he could and that he would want to be a more active grandfather.
The TUF did not pronounce on whether it would again partner with the PPP/C if that party retains the seat of government.
The party leadership said it was proud of the performance of Nadir both as Minister of Tourism (2001-2006) and as Minister of Labour, the position which he currently holds.
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]