I am disheartened following the resignations of dual citizen MPs. It appears that the words “To be loyal to my country and to be obedient to the laws of Guyana” have lost their weight. Perhaps it is because the maple syrup is sweeter than sugar or I suspect, the afternoon tea is smoother than mauby.
Regardless, I am now able to vote for the first time, and I want to see leaders who are loyal. I want a leader who not only knows how to recite the anthem and pledge, but one who knows how to fulfil them.
Let me make it clear that this is not a critique of those MPs that resigned. It truly is a matter for them to decide if they prefer the Canje Pheasant or the Bald Eagle.
However, a large part of me believed that at least one of them would display their loyalty to our country. I hoped in vain, that at least one of them would denounce their foreign allegiance and show young people what it means to be patriotic. Now, it appears that it is for us young people to independently learn how to put the country over self-interest, and how to put Guyana first.
This is not to say that members of the diaspora should not have a say in our country. Their commitment to Guyana has been steadfast. I am also not in denial of the plethora of skills available to our country through the diaspora. However, some of these resigned MPs have been living in Guyana for decades. Therefore, they are no longer part of the diaspora, and I fear that the rhetoric has wrongfully digressed into a debate about diaspora participation when these MPs are resident Guyanese.
Nevertheless, no member of the diaspora who puts Guyana second should be allowed to run Guyana. If they want to sit in Parliament, there is only one right answer to the questions: Guyana or America? Guyana or Britain? Guyana or Canada?
Where are the champions like Janet Jagan? According to a 14/12/1997 New York Times article, she gave up her American citizenship to become a Guyanese National. She wasn’t even born here and she had no Guyanese heritage. Yet, she knew how to put Guyana first and still, the born and bred Guyanese can’t get it right.
I hope that young Guyanese, although disillusioned, are not discouraged by these resignations. Let us continue to dedicate our energies towards the happiness and prosperity of Guyana.
Proud Citizen of Guyana
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