|Over the past three days, Ms. Amna Ally, M.P. and Chief Whip of the Parliamentary Opposition accompanied by Dr. George Norton, M.P.; and Mr. Sydney Allicock, M.P. traversed several areas across the Rupununi, Region #9.
This visit came after the PPP/C surged their way across Region #9 and deliberately misrepresented, to the indigenous communities, the cuts made to the 2012 Budget. It was obvious to the opposition team that the PPP/C is crying foul because of the ground on which they lost at the 28th November 2011 General and Regional Elections.
According to the residents of the Rupununi they can now speak with authority since they now know the truth about the 2012 Budget cuts. This was because Ms. Ally circulated, in all of the communities, extracts from the 2011 Budget speeches and photocopies of pages of the 2012 Capital Estimates as well as the relevant Project Profile pages from the 2012 Budget Estimates. Residents of Region #9 are now convinced that the Government was intent on misleading them, especially on the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project.
Ms. Ally explained to the residents that, since 2011 the Government announced in the National Assembly that $1.8Bn was utilised to purchase 27,000 laptops, yet no laptop was given to any resident of the Rupununi. She also explained about the input from China to provide funding for the entire laptop project.
The Government has not told the people of Region #9 that they have not received the foreign funds for the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) because they have not satisfied the requisite criteria for a “draw down”. Yet Ministers of the Government are going around crying crocodile tears.
It was sad when a resident of St. Ignatius complained to the team that Minister Ganga Persaud shut her up when she wanted to ask questions. Instead, he told her that only he must speak and he did not want to hear any history from her. She told the APNU representatives that she felt rejected. She felt a sense of acceptability when APNU allowed her to make a lengthy and interesting intervention at St. Ignatius.
It must be pointed out that gone are the days when this Government can continue to fool the people of this country. They must recognise that the Indigenous Peoples are intelligent and can certainly evaluate developments and arrive at their own conclusions.
It should be noted that some of the documents provided at the meetings were photographed using cell phones so that persons can keep them for future reference.
The misleading information by the PPP/C has not only been channelled to other indigenous communities but also to many communities on the coastland.
APNU is not asleep. APNU is moving around the entire country to tell the people the truth and nothing but the truth. In life only truth matters and that is why APNU will survive.
In the Rupununi the residents also complained that APNU Member of Parliament, Mr. Sydney Allicock was maligned by Minister Ganga Persaud, but Mr. Allicock is highly recognised and respected in his region. Of course, the residents do not take kindly to anyone disrespecting their indigenous representative and, on this point, they were very vocal at the Annai village meeting. One of the outstanding calls, from the indigenous peoples, was for members of the community to continue to follow the leadership of their representative, Mr. Allicock. This was overwhelmingly accepted.
Ms. Ally explained, at all of the meetings, how the Budget process is conducted; the demands made by APNU; and the results which are evidently the Budget cuts for the Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance.
The Indigenous communities are much better informed. They now understand why the Government tried to mislead them and are resolved to act responsibly now that they have the facts and know the truth.
We, in APNU, call on the Government to discontinue the distasteful act of lying, maligning and misleading the Guyanese people and, instead, they should seek to provide good governance for all of the people of Guyana.