President David Granger should think long and hard before he makes complex political statements on the body politic of Guyana. Such ill-thought out deliveries can play straight into the hands of his detractors and opponents. In one instance it has. In castigating the attitude of PPP controlled NDCs, the President observed that he is satisfied with the performance of the mayors but is dissatisfied with the rate of work of the NDCs.
As readers would know, in the last local government elections, the PPP won most of the NDCs. Few analysts have looked at that occurrence, but for the Coalition to have lost so badly in the NDCs after 23 years of disastrous PPP rule remains a huge unpleasant stain on the Coalition’s fabric. The President went on to say respect is not shown to his office by NDC officials and he sees a civil war being waged against the local government system.
If Mr. Granger made that delivery based on what he heard a close associate remark, then he should not have repeated it. If it came from his own analytical mind, he should not have even contemplated uttering it. It is a faulty analysis that opposition leaders can devastate without even thinking what to say. First, the President cannot be serious to paint the mayorships and NDCs with the same broad brush.
The mayorship of Georgetown is the heart and centre of the municipal system. Georgetown is almost (I say almost) coterminous with Guyana. Georgetown is where the seat of government, commerce, financial transactions, security headquarters, the main administrative system for education, and the major health system are located.
Just a simple comparison will drive home the point. Although I did not do the research, I would like to think the Georgetown Hospital’s overall operations, number of employees and patients probably combine more than half of other public hospitals and health centres in Guyana.
If the President is satisfied with the performance of the Mayor of Georgetown he may be openly embracing a partisan position because she sits in the leadership of his party’s general council. The Georgetown City Council is as incompetent as any municipality controlled by the PPP in Guyana.
If the NDCs do not show respect to Mr. Granger’s office that is morally deplorable but Mr. Granger should lecture his comrades in the leadership of the City Council on the meaning of respect.
The Georgetown City Council not only withholds respect for the citizens that elected it but displays contempt for Georgetowners. We are never consulted on any major policy including the worst contract ever signed in the modern world. If President Granger thought and if the Guyanese people believed that President Jagdeo’s Government signed jumbie and zombie contracts with investors, they should read the parking meter contract. It has no parallel elsewhere in the world.
On the question of respect, it was reported in the press that the councilors of Mr. Granger’s party heckled and booed young Sherod Duncan when he rose to speak to congratulate the Deputy Mayor on his election. Mr. Granger should ask his party people why they were booing Duncan. What sin or violation or misbehaviour Duncan is guilty of? This young man is seen in a positive light by most Georgertowners.
Mr. Granger said he is not satisfied with the rate of work undertaken by the NDCs. Is he pleased with the performance of his own party in the Georgetown City Council? I park my car at the junction of Howes and Saffon Streets each time I am at Kaieteur News. The gutter there is fetid, stinks and is a horrible sight. It hasn’t been cleaned since the Golden Jubilee. Disease-borne garbage has been on the pavement where I have to park for months now. The situation is the same with all the other gutters in that vicinity.
Let me return to the subject of the nature of Mr. Granger’s words. I began by saying he should not have made them. Bharat Jagdeo jumped on the statement immediately. Jagdeo is in no position and will never be in a position to lecture a decent man like David Granger. But on the subject of respect, Mr. Jagdeo knew he had one over Mr. Granger.
He said respect must be earned. How many citizens have respect for the administrators of City Hall? And the reason is because City Hall does not respect its citizens. Can Mr. Granger look this nation in its collective eyes and tell us if Royston King has respect for the people of Georgetown? I think King just apologized for disrespecting Mr. Roy Beepat of Giftland Mall.
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