After an historic election victory that gives people all over the country the sense of the dawn of a new day, free at last from twenty-three years of PPP/C rule, many were happy to see the back of nepotism and political cronies in positions of authority. The general feeling of people was that we will now have a caring government, which will hold people accountable and promote people base on their qualifications and performance. Barticians like the rest of the country embraced the call for change with enthusiasm and passion.
The euphoria that resulted in the change in government was short lived, when some Barticians learnt recently that the new APNU+AFC administration was seriously planning to reinstate the incumbent regional chairman Mr Gordon Bradford after what some considered a poor two terms.
The news of the reinstatement of Mr Bradford spontaneously give birth to young people picketing on First Avenue on June 26, clamouring that such is not what they had voted for. The general contention of the picketers was that after they had examined the performance record of Mr Bradford’s two terms in office they are of the opinion that he does not have the leadership competencies that are needed to move Bartica forward.
In all fairness to Mr Bradford, when one evaluates his two terms in office it is very difficult to come up with a project in which he has shown leadership that has benefited our community. One of his main achievements is a local TV entertainment programme every Friday at 7pm, ‘Magic movements’ that plays the best old music videos.
Mr Bradford is claiming that he was instrumental in establishing the extension of the Bartica Secondary School and various road projects. It’s known to all Barticians that these projects were the brainchild of Mr Brentnol Archer, one of Bartica’s inspirational regional chairmen, whom Mr Bradford replaced.
A cursory look at Mr Bradford’s two terms shows these are some of his noticeable achievements: 1. He supported the PPP/C’s illegal ejection of elected NDC councilors; this is recorded in the June 3, 2013, Stabroek News headline ‘Regional chairman breaks ranks with support for Bartica IMC.’
- He supported GPL in locating generators in the Bartica Housing Scheme without consulting the residents (‘Bartica residents want GPL to seek other location for generators,’ Kaieteur News, June 24, 2013).
Bartica is at a juncture when it would soon become a town, and what is needed is a dynamic inspirational leader who has excellent people skills and the ability to collaborate with the business community and other community leaders to come up with innovative solutions to solve the town’s problems.
It is a known fact that Mr Bradford is a hard worker for the APNU, but this should not mean an automatic reinstatement in the RC post. If the new government is serious about promoting democracy at the grass roots level, then it is incumbent on them to let the people decide who their leaders are. Any deviation from this is considered promoting the cronyism that they have accused the PPP/C of.
It is interesting to note that on the call-in live TV programme on TTS Channel Five aired on June 26, organized by the young leaders of Bartica, out of the numerous calls received only two persons were in support of Mr Bradford being reinstalled as Regional Chairman.
The APNU+AFC leadership should be cognizant that there was indeed a small gap between winner and loser in the May 11 election, and any arbitrary decisions have future political ramifications.