The GDF should be posted to guard government buildings and banks

Dear Editor,

The sudden rise of crime all across Guyana has been of great concern to all Guyanese citizens fearing for their lives at the hands of criminal elements and bandits. We have seen the recent execution of a police officer, the death of the only son of a gentleman, the brutal shooting of a pretty young lady at Mambo’s bar and the long dismal list goes on all across this nation.

Our police force is incompetent to deal with crime while the GDF sleeps on taxpayers’ money. I seldom ask the question what’s the purpose of the GDF in this country? They are the only soldiers who are only seen during elections every five years then they are gone into obscurity. They are not seen patrolling the city or the country. They get paid for doing nothing while crime is rampant in the country.

Our erudite Police Commissioner said “Don’t press the panic button” while innocent citizens are being killed. He goes on to say that citizens must stand up against criminals, but if a citizen should shoot a criminal that citizen could be charged. I wonder what button he has to press if he has one. Our Minister of Home Affairs is now forming a SWAT team to fight crime, but then the human rights people and APNU will shout “murder’’ if criminals are killed. I am beginning to realize we are living among some backward leaders.

We are suffering from a great moral breakdown in this country, but our political leaders turn a blind eye to it. In Georgetown criminal elements are all over the city from all the shop corners, to the bus parks as touts, at the street corner selling DVD’s and they even pose as customers in the banks and the airports. From America Street going down to Demico across to the Stabroek Market many citizens are robbed. We must first clean up the city from hooligan elements that destroy working people’s lives. Most of our government offices have no proper security, also our banks. Last week the son of a Parliamentary Secretary was robbed of $2 million while sitting in his car near the Deeds Registry. How in God’s name do we not have security there? In my personal opinion, all the GDF soldiers should be posted to guard government buildings and banks, and patrol the entire country to protect our citizens. We wouldn’t have need for a SWAT team. What do we pay an army for? If the army can’t protect our citizens they should be fired.

I have travelled to several countries and I have seen some real law and order. In Suriname thieves are caught, cars are not broken into, people are not shot and killed that easily, I don’t see iron grills on houses; they have real law and order there.

Our ministers should travel to Suriname and other countries to learn about law and order. After twenty years in power our present PPP administration has failed to protect the citizens of this nation; all our ministers can do is carry their political cancer everywhere. Our Minister of Education told some students the other day at a rally that the PPP “has your backs”; it is just brainwashing. If the PPP has our students’ backs then it should realize that kids are waking up to dead fathers and mothers killed by criminals. So how is the PPP watching the backs of the parents of our kids?
George Orwell’s books Animal Farm and 1984 paint a profound picture of what is happening in our society. We must live above racial politics and strive in unity to build this nation by protecting the rights of our citizens. Where is justice for our hurting citizens? Old Year’s night when I came from church I discovered thieves had cut the iron grills and invaded my house. They stole some stuff and ransacked the entire place. While I was sorting out my losses, my wife drove to the BV police station just five minutes away from where I live. About 2 hours later one policeman came with my wife. He had no gun or any form of defence for the thieves even if they were still lurking around.

The police officer picked up some louvre windows the thieves had removed, took a statement and said the fingerprint expert will come. The next day no one came. After several calls and station visits a few police officers came four days later to take fingerprints. How ridiculous these people are. I really feel like laughing them. I had some clues about who broke into my house, but the police never went after the thieves and that was the end of my losses.

If it was Suriname the police would have arrived from just one phone call with trained dogs to track the thieves and search until the thieves were found. We have no law and order and justice in this country.

Our President is yet to address our nation about the crime situation but he does nothing. Real leadership is leading others by example but we have no example to follow from our leaders. Our leaders could not care less about us the citizens; they are only concerned about their personal political agenda and personal ambition. What have we achieved as a nation after 47 years of independence? We have achieved constant crime, murder, everyday blackouts, a poor water supply or none at all, stinking drains, a garbage city, tons of potholed roads, tons of beggars everywhere, thieves everywhere, massive domestic violence and migration every day, legally and illegally. How do we deal with all this? We need a new vision and new leadership to govern this nation not arrogant, half-educated leaders.

Yours faithfully,
Rev Gideon Cecil

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