“Hold our feet to the fire” – Ali tells Moraikobai residents
Irfaan Ali, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), has committed to strongly disciplining his Ministers, even having them fired, if they are found to be disrespectful to the people.
During a recent outreach to Moraikobai Village in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Ali reflected on the incident where Minister with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott, insinuated that the Indigenous peoples are greedy.
“As your President, if one of my Ministers make a statement like that they will have to hand in their resignation because no Minister, no Government has the right to disrespect people, disrespect their communities and disrespect their wishes,” Ali posited.
Minister Scott had staunchly refused to apologise for making the remark, even under fire from various officials including executives of the National Toshaos Council (NTC).
The Minister had called the Indigenous peoples “avaricious” during a 2017 sitting of the National Assembly.
“For that statement alone, this Government should be removed and for not apologising, they should be given no vote from this community in protest,” Ali expressed to rounds of applause from the community, which comprises of mainly Amerindian folks.
Meanwhile, Ali called on the people to hold his Government accountable and ensure they deliver on the promises they are currently making.
“You can hold my feet and your next Government feet to the fire. And, if we do not deliver, based on this contract we are establishing with you, then you will get to make a choice five years from March 2020 and you will let us know how you feel,” he explained, noting that “you are trusting us by voting for us to deliver on those promises and if we don’t deliver on those promises we will be breaching that trust you give to us.”
In this regard, Ali contended that the PPP/C has a track-record of always keeping its promises to the people. And he noted that in situations where they were unable to deliver, reasonable explanations were provided.
He contrasted this with the promises made by the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.
“Over the last five years, remember the promises? ‘More scholarships for the children’, has scholarships increased for the children?” Ali questioned.
“More resources to be spent on the communities, has the presidential grant been doubled? Better healthcare, has your healthcare been improved? Better access to education and transportation, has it been improved?”
“A higher standard of living, more jobs and greater opportunities. Have you seen any of this in your community? Then they have betrayed you,” Ali said, explaining that the words in a manifesto are an honour.
“And you have to upkeep and uphold that honour,” he stated.
Ali had stated that 50,000 jobs will be created for Guyanese should his party return to office. He reminded of the coalition Government’s promise to stimulate job creation, especially for youths, but instead, they have caused the country to face 37,000 job losses in various economy-driven sectors.
He went on to reveal that under the APNU/AFC, Guyana has slipped four positions in the employment rate for the 25-54 age group and seven positions for the age group 54 to 64 on the Global Human Capital Index. With regards to youths, he disclosed that the country declined nine positions in unemployment for the 15-24 age group.
As such, Ali had stated that unlike the coalition Administration, his party will not falter in its efforts to ensure that what is being promised to the populace is achieved.
Guyana is slated to hold elections on March 2, 2020, and Ali is urging people who did not vote for the party during the last elections, to seriously consider them now at the upcoming polls.
“Reflect on the past five years… Be true to your conscience and ask yourself: ‘Did my life improve? Did the prospects for my family improve? Did the prospect for the community improve?’…and if your conscience tells you ‘no’, then you have to vote the right way,” Ali expressed.