After return, Toshao questions gov’t commitment to role for remigrants

After answering the appeal by President David Granger and the APNU+AFC administration for Guyanese in the diaspora to return home and develop the country, remigrant Lenox Shuman is grappling with buyer’s remorse.

Shuman, the Vice Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), told Stabroek News on Tuesday that his experience as a re-migrant casts doubt on the government’s commitment to assist in reintegrating them into the Guyanese society.

Schuman, who is an airline pilot, returned to Guyana after the 2015 general and regional elections and was elected Toshao of St Cuthbert’s Mission in July, 2015 and Vice Chairman of the NTC in December, 2015.

Lenox Shuman
Lenox Shuman

He returned after living in Canada for 25 years. In addition to a Diploma in Business and a Commercial Pilot’s Licence, he had a strong desire to represent his people because he was dissatisfied with the treatment and leadership of the nine nations that comprise Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples.

He explained that before relocating to Guyana, he was informed of vacancies at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and having been told that he was amply qualified, believed he could help improve aviation safety and assist in elevating the aviation standards.

His ultimate goal was to help the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri earn a Category One Status.

The airport is presently uncategorised and this, according to Schuman, is the primary reason it cannot dispatch flights directly to the United States.

Though Schuman hand delivered his resume to then acting Director of the GCAA Chaitrani Heeralall more than a year ago, he said he has heard “nothing.”

He stressed that though he has attempted to truly represent his people as Toshao, the finances are tight and the temptation to compromise as a leader and travel a road that is highly undesirous and disreputable exists.

“The only person that gave me an opportunity was Gerry Gouveia and Roraima, but that opportunity would have detracted from my work as Toshao and I could not capitalise on it,” Schuman said even as he called for government to appreciate the influx of knowledge and provide opportunities for legitimately qualified individuals, who have the requisite knowledge to improve the system and country.

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