With respect to the remarks made by President Donald Ramotar, in the February 12 edition of the Sunday Chronicle, it is not that I cannot appreciate the hurt which the President feels at not having the majority in Parliament, however, there certainly was no need for the President to make such ill-advised and inflammatory remarks.
President Ramotar’s statement that, in Linden, “…the opposition carried a very strong racial line in their campaign’“is an indictment of all the people of this region who are – albeit indirectly – being chastised for the choice they made on November 28, 2011. As the then Campaign Manager for APNU in Region 10, I take the President’s remarks to be a direct attack on my character. I am in no way a racist and as such would never run a campaign that sought to be racially divisive. Furthermore, as campaign manager, I endeavoured at every community meeting except two, to point out to residents of Region 10 that I embody the persona of what constitutes a multicultural Guyanese – that is an Afro-Guyanese with an East Indian first name, a Biblical surname, who practises a Far Eastern religion. As such, the race card was an absolute no on the campaign trail.
There are countless others like me who represent the new face of Guyanese politics; people who think that race-based politics should be a thing of the past as they only serve to divide the nation and distract us from path to progress. The Region 10 APNU election campaign used a strategy which engaged the people on issues which affect them. It was a campaign with a vibrant theme, which followed strict guidelines that did not allow for the raining of verbal abuse on the voting public.
The people of Region 10 – feeling deeply disillusioned with the previous administration – heard our message and voted for change. They voted for access to another radio and television station, other than the government-controlled NCN. They voted against mismanagement by the PPP government which left them feeling disenfranchised.
Guyana’s electorate – particularly that of Region 10 – has spoken loud and clear. Therefore, I would urge the President to desist from ignoring the voice of the people of this great nation and instead listen to what they have to say. I strongly recommend that Mr Ramotar retract his inciteful remarks, apologize, and move on by working for and earning the respect of all Guyanese.
In closing, I caution residents of Region 10 to remain focused as I strongly believe that these baseless remarks were meant to distract us from the real work at hand which is helping to build a prosperous and united nation.