I have spent all my life reading and studying politics. I am finely educated to understand how societies function but I admit today here in this column, I will never understand the politicians who run Guyana.
I believe I am capable of comprehending the meaning of political behaviour in politicians around the world but not in my country. I can explain why the Conservatives want to leave the EU. I know the meaning behind the various racist diatribes of President Trump. I understand but do not agree with the attitude of past and present Trinidadian leaders toward CARICOM.
I believe I know the motives behind traditional Russian oligarchic rule. These are just a few examples. I do have a grasp of how world leaders operate even though I don’t live in those countries. But right here in Guyana, it is questionable whether anyone can make sense of our shambolic leadership.
If you travelled the roads of Guyana 20 years ago, then ten years ago, you would know with absolute certainty they were far less congested and the number of vehicles were far, far fewer than what they are now. Even if you do not own a car, you cannot miss the metal jungle that exists as part of our infrastructure.
He is dead and gone but 20 years ago, the former Commissioner of Police, Laurie Lewis, recommended the government pass restriction on the number of cars a citizen can own. He made his statement as a reaction to the number of vehicles on the roadways.
Imagine if Lewis was frustrated by the influx of vehicles back then, what would go through his mind if he were alive in 2019.
Two of the ways of making the roadways safe are traffic cops regulating smooth passage and traffic lights which naturally bring order. If you live in Eccles and you are turning onto the East Bank Highway, you will be dead one day if those lights are not working. You will literally become paranoid in seconds in an attempt to cross over.
The reason is simple- the East Bank traffic is non-stop. Unless the red light in the opposite direction allows you to come onto the highway from Eccles, then you literally cannot.
You don’t need any fancy university degree as a president or a transport minister to know when the signals at such a dangerous junction malfunction, it has to be a priority to be fixed.
No decent government anywhere in the world would neglect to pursue that priority.
I live very close to the junction of UG Road and the Railway Embankment. For more than a month, when night comes, the signals die. A nightmare literally takes over. Now here is a description of the importance of that spot.
When I moved to that area, there wasn’t in existence the following nearby buildings; Aquatic Centre, Giftland Mall, Amerindian hostel, CARICOM Secretariat Annexe, Movietowne Complex, police command post for monitoring the surveillance cameras in Georgetown, Rama Khrisna church, Gafoors Complex, American Ambassador’s residence.
In addition, several business places have gone up in Cummings Lodge, Turkeyen, Pattensen, Industry, etc.
The value of those signals at the Railway Embankment and UG Road is priceless. Since they stop working, I see an accident every four days. What President Granger and his Minister of Public Transport have to do to see how neglectful or incompetent the governance of this country is would be to look at the surveillance cameras at the police command post next to Giftland Mall.
They will see how humans are reduced to creatures of the jungle. The tapes would show them what Guyana has been reduced to
To see how drivers try to successfully manoeuvre this junction now that the traffic lights are gone is sad and pathetic. I honestly thought that when Robeson Benn was Minister of Public Works, he was incompetent. I was angry when I wrote about his performance in these columns and the ubiquity of dead traffic signals. Now we have David Patterson. I thought Benn was Guyana’s nemesis until Patterson came along.
And what about Granger? A few weeks ago in defending many of his decisions, he said that people will blame him because he is the president. He is damn right. I am laying the blame on him for the non-functioning traffic lights where I live because it is an extremely dangerous place to drive without the signals and his government should see that it is a priority area.
If there is anything I am sure about in my life in 2020 is that I am voting against APNU+AFC.
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