There aren’t adjectives to describe the type of struggle that is currently taking place between the PNC+AFC and the PPP for power, since the ruling by the CCJ. But what do they do with this power? They do any and everything with it, except to use it to make Guyana a better place, to socially elevate the citizenry, develop a physically modern country.
People who fought with Cheddi Jagan participated conspiratorially in the building of a Marriott Hotel, costing over sixty million American dollars, when they knew that an international hotel was not one of the last things, but the very last thing a poor country like Guyana needed.
When that building was going up, a majority of Guyana’s streets were (and are still) without street lamps; the country’s only university had (still has) dilapidated laboratories; the main hospital in Georgetown was still way below a tenth rate hospital in the developed world; state-run schools were in a rundown state (they still are); the country was still getting frequent blackouts (they have increased over the years).
Amidst this backwardness, the protégés of Cheddi Jagan built a Marriott Hotel, where tourism is hardly a money-making industry and does not attract sufficient numbers to fill even one of the other two major hotels (Pegasus and Princess) on any given day, except when there is Test cricket or CPL matches.
Then Jagan’s protégés lost power in 2015 and one of the very first policy-making acts of the new government was to spend more than a billion dollars erecting D’Urban Park. It made no sense, when the biology of the country was in identical shape when the Marriott was going up. Prior to erecting D’Urban Park, Guyana has a National Park and the Providence Stadium. It simply made no sense in nation-building to spend that mammoth amount on another structure similar to the National Park and the Providence Stadium.
That is what the PPP did with power. This is what the PNC and AFC are doing with power. To put their bankrupt ideology on display, the Minister of Public Infrastructure, in justifying D’Urban Park, said the numbers the Golden Jubilee of Independence would attract could not be accommodated at the National Park or the Stadium. So a poor country builds a massive structure just to facilitate the crowds that would gather for an event that would last just one day, and will then never be seen again.
What will the PPP and now the PNC and AFC do with the power that they are fighting for? A country’s leader has to be a complete idiot not to see where the city’s fire service is situated is a disaster. Jagdeo had 12 years. Ramotar almost five years and neither of these leaders possessed the commonsense to see that the service would have fit in most beautifully where D’Urban Park now stands. Guyana’s fire service must be the only facility in the world that is situated in the very heart of the busiest stop in the downtown area. The Georgetown abattoir is a national disgrace. The present regime tore down a two-level post office on Alexander Street, Kitty. It replaced it with a one-level building, eighty feet by seventy feet. Yet this very administration is renting a three-storey building next to the Foreign Ministry to house the Gaming Authority. The rent is in the millions.
How can this country take off into the future when you have such intellectually barren leaders? It doesn’t need even a secondary education to inform you that a three-storey structure could have gone up in Kitty. The first floor would be the post office and the other two levels could have gone to the Gaming Authority.
For twenty-three years, the PPP was in power, and the evidence that is under it, Guyana remained an essentially backward country, which is seriously overwhelming. Under the Jagdeo administration in the 21st century, the Berbice River was bridged. The bridge was an early 20th century entity that the military would construct during war. See the 1957 movie, “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” The Berbice structure is the identical one the British military prisoners built for their Japanese captors.
Now the PPP is gone from power, and in the same 21st century, the new APNU+AFC regime is constructing another bridge on the Demerara River at Houston on the East Bank. The Chinese ambassador saw the drawing of the bridge and almost had a heart attack. He immediately exclaimed; “that is not a 21st century bridge.”
We end with the question; what do they do with the power they fight for? Check the cars they drive and the size of their bank accounts.
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