“It’s déjà vu all over again.” Baseball legend Yogi Berra’s creative mangled quote applies perfectly to President Granger’s speech commemorating Independence Day 2019, which promised the future to “youth” and that of the leader of the AFC, Moses Nagamootoo’s recent promise to “think” about the possibility of free tertiary education if re-elected.
A politician making an empty promise is certainly not new, however, the sheer audacity of this pair boggles the mind! We have seen this before, in 2015 David Granger, then leader of the opposition, addressed youth organisations and promised “that under an APNU Administration, all graduates of the University of Guyana would be assured employment within twelve months of graduating” (Kaieteur News, 2015-01-29) but once elected Granger arrogantly suggested in 2018 “You must be ashamed if you do not have work” and “Government services could not employ an unlimited number of persons” Granger and his Administration never addressed job creation policies, instead Granger suggested self-help and cook-up and plantain frying as avenues of upward mobility. Unfortunately, Moses Nagamootoo has made no statements of note either way and his only contribution has been to diminish the prestige of the Office he holds.
Editor, I do not need to point out that jobs were not created for every University graduate, the thousands who have graduated since 2015 know all about that. What angers me is the thought that “youths” are somehow ignorant of the facts and can be easily duped.
The PPP, led by General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo, has been working long hours crafting plans and policies for presentation to the electorate. There will be promises to tertiary students, the difference will be the meticulous and detailed plan including prudent fiscal budgetary allocation to back the promise. Jagdeo has indeed made the claim that the AFC leader has “stolen” the ideas. Jagdeo need not worry, stealing or parroting a good intention is not enough, you have to be able to plan and execute the intention into a reality and in this, the Granger Administration has proven to be woefully inept.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions and empty promises. I am now sure that it is called Granger-Nagamootoo Drive.