Sep 25, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Guyanese have coexisted in a state of uneasiness in the decades since Independence. In the years prior to national freedom, tension and intolerance spiralled to a fever pitch. From every indication, it seems that citizens have never fully recovered from the traumas of over a half century ago. Each elections season rekindles, restores, and gives renewed life to the disharmony and disunity that have been the national culture, no matter how subdued, how subtle, or how softened. The arrival of massive amounts of oil has only served to magnify and intensify the national wretchedness that originates in, is driven by, and perpetuated through political separateness and dogged resistance to closing the wounding gaps. Togetherness is Guyana’s mystery key, but we have lost it, and now don’t make any effort to find it.
If there is no national togetherness, then we are among the most wretched of men and women. This consigns us to languish in a state of ugly fury, a culture of social apartness, and heading towards a destiny that mocks the great riches bestowed on us. When we as a nation, as a people, as a place of self-governance and self-determination, remain committed to and content in living in this manner, then we are unworthy of our fabulous gifts. We at this paper make this crystal clear: we can never achieve the true potential, the fullest benefit, of our national patrimony, when there is continuing satisfaction with our hard, unyielding differences, our recognisable hostility, and our failure to dedicate the necessary energies to change where we are, and how we are.
We are not the Guyana of old anymore. We are oil Guyana, this oil bonanza, this glittering, enchanting oil paradise. Yet we have not changed an inch to ready ourselves to greet the riches that are ours. We delight in arguing, we thrill with quarrelling, and we like being torn and fragmented, wounded and dragging. While we drag on our bottoms, rendered so by our disuniting diseases, others come from the outside and walkaway at will with our wealth that is the wonder of the world.
We are a society of less than a million people, and we can’t speak to each other, don’t have the soundness of vision, the sense in our makeup, to appreciate that we are our own worst enemies. We are a country of many billions of barrels of oil, and foreign exploiters (that is what they are) cart away, haul away, and ship away what belongs to us, and we still prefer to denounce neighbour, who we see as enemy, the only one. We are a small country with two political groups only, for all intents and purposes; yet both fail to put aside their disagreements, or their memories, so that they can succeed at bringing about a better Guyana. This is the source, the fuel, and the engine of our individual, communal, and national self-destruction in bits and pieces, and to which each of the two political parties contribute. It is to the same self-destructiveness that most of us, if not each one of us, willingly participate.
Citizens in Guyana are largely and powerfully fuelled by the visions, positions, and conditions of the political parties they follow faithfully. It is imperative, therefore, that the People’s Progressive Party and the People’s National Congress, the political majors that matter in their fusion groups, think of the mandatory steps they must take, then actually take them, and pave the way for Guyanese to close ranks and join hands. When the PPP/C and the APNU+AFC stand shoulder to shoulder, the rest of the Guyanese people follow suit. Both governing PPP/C and Coalition Opposition owe a duty to Guyanese to carve out a way, and to lead the way, towards the togetherness that has always been such a bitter medicine for us to absorb.
Togetherness in this time of great wealth is a must. Togetherness is what assures a better understanding, a better reception, of each other (and all those in between) for a better future. Government and Opposition must set the example, be in front. If not, we will stay stuck at where we have always been, and this wealth may as well not be ours.
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