Determination, will to serve Guyana further strengthened – Pres Ali on assassination attempt

Following Thursday’s shocking assassination attempt on the life of President Dr Irfaan Ali, which has left one Presidential Guard severely injured, the Head of State has said his determination and will to serve Guyana has now been further strengthened.
“My spirit was renewed in hope of what humanity is capable of. My determination and will to serve this country and people of this country was further strengthened…,” he said while speaking at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI’s) Annual Awards Gala on Thursday evening – hours after the attack on his official residence, where he resides with his family, First Lady Arya Ali and their three-year-old son Zayd.
While there was no harm to the First Family, the attack has been widely condemned by all stakeholders, including the Opposition parties.
Reports are that 25-year-old Nigerian national Bethel Ikena Chinezie turned up at the Carmichael Street entrance of State House at around 7:30h on Thursday and demanded to see the Head of State at a security checkpoint.
After being informed that he had to go through a process, the foreign national whipped out a knife and stabbed one of the Presidential Guards about five times, before relieving a female guard of her service weapon. The suspect then walked out of the guard hut and began firing shots.
At that point, other Presidential Guards engaged him in an exchange of fire, during which Chinezie was shot, resulting in ranks being able to detain him.
It has been revealed that Chinezie arrived in Guyana on March 13, 2020, and is employed with a cleaning service company. He had previously been employed with a security company. The Guyana Police Force has since engaged Interpol for assistance in gathering additional information on this Nigerian national.
It has been reported that both the injured guard, Teon Perreira, and the attacker, Chinezie, were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) for immediate medical attention following Thursday morning’s ordeal. Perreira was rushed into surgery, and President Dr. Irfaan Ali showed up to check on his well-being.
According to President Ali, Perreira spent most of the day in surgery, and had regained consciousness by Thursday evening. “I was pleased to speak with him directly [via phone], and his words to me were, “Sir, I am back to work with you tomorrow”. It is these incredible moments in life that allows one to reflect on [the goodness of] humanity,” the Guyanese Leader stated.
Against this backdrop, the Head of State has called on the Guyanese people to renew efforts to not only serve the country, but also look out for each other. “If all of us renew, collectively, our efforts to serve this beautiful country selflessly, I assure you that we will not only be living in a country with great prosperity, but more importantly, we will be living in a country with great humanity – a country that is built on a strong, steady foundation of love, trust and commitment; and one that is built with a sense of character, in which people of this country look out for each other, the people of this country uplift each other, and the people of this country protect each other,” the President has asserted.
Moreover, the Guyanese Leader has reminded citizens about the impact words can have when uttered. In fact, President Ali pointed out that words not only allow people to act, but also create environments in which people are pushed into action.
“We sometimes speak loosely use words and don’t understand the impact. Unfortunately, we live in an era where information is easily and quickly disseminated, and the time to withdraw those words is not instantaneous anymore. The actions on the words that disseminate are instantaneous, so we must all recommit ourselves in the way we use words, because words can lead to different challenges,” he urged.
This sentiment expressed by the Head of State comes on the heels of Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine accusing President Ali of creating an “Islamic State”. While protesting against the removal of vendors outside the GPHC compound on New Market Street, Georgetown, Narine on Monday descended into making a series of serious accusations against the Guyanese Leader. While he subsequently attempted to apologise for his utterance, Narine’s remarks have been met with immediate backlash and calls for his resignation on ground that he is unfit to hold the office of Mayor.
Narine and Opposition Member of Parliament Sherod Duncan have since been slapped with several charges under Guyana’s Racial Hostility Act, and have been placed on bail in the amount of $200,000 each when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Thursday.