The performance of Region Two Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson came under scrutiny on Friday when it inspired both a protest by critics and a counter-protest by supporters.
The protest commenced just about 10.30 am in front of the Regional Democratic Council Office, at Anna Regina.
“I am from Dartmouth REO must go” and “REO think he is God,” were among some of the messages inscribed on the placards carried by Hopkinson’s critics, while his supporters carried messages attesting to his achievements, such as “REO saved $100 million and completed many projects.”
Stabroek News was told that the protest against the REO was organised by some of his former colleagues and friends, including contractors, who said that the relationship between the REO and them deteriorated after he allegedly “took jobs from the poor.”
“He has been creating employment only for the rich. The REO took away a contract from a man just because the man complained against him,” one contractor said.
However, these views were rebuffed by Hopkinson’s supporters, who pointed out that the REO has been doing many great things in the region and should remain in office because he possesses excellent leadership qualities and works well with others.
Among Hopkinson’s supporters was Dianne Peters, who pointed out that he has been “doing a lot for the region and there is accountability and transparency within the region.
“The REO renovated many dilapidated buildings that we all know of. He cleaned drains and has had new bridges built in various communities and now we have a clean and green environment.”
Peters believes that the contractors are angry with the REO because he was stern after they failed to work in line with government policies.
“These contractors should be able to complete works because contractors cannot be paid for incomplete and inferior works. Government policies must be met and followed. They cannot want to be paid for inferior works,” she said.
Hopkinson was seen in close vicinity of the protesters but through it all opted to remain silent.
Stabroek News was told that Hopkinson’s critics have vowed to continue their protest until he is removed from office.