Blame was laid solely at the feet of the David Granger-led Government for the events that led to the unrest at the Camp Street Prison on Sunday, which resulted in the death of one prison officer, injuries to several others and inmates, and the escape of five prisoners.
In a strongly worded statement on Monday, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, said “unbelievable incompetence” and “lack of accountability” were displayed on Sunday by those with political responsibility for security at the city penitentiary and law and order in the country.
It was also highlighted that this was the second such incident that occurred at the Camp Street Prison in just over one year, which according to the Opposition, pointed to a lack of planning and eventuality that prevailed under the Granger Government’s watch.
The Opposition also accused the Government of keeping secret the final report and recommendations of the presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) that was commissioned after the first event.
“The nation is yet to learn what recommendation was accepted and implemented. Conducting public policy in secrecy, in spite of public criticism, has now become a defining characteristic feature of this Government,” the statement added.
In recounting the events of July 9, the Opposition used the opportunity to reiterate that the State bore full responsibility for the safety and well-being of all inmates.
The Office of the Leader of the Opposition also called for full disclosure of all aspects of the tragedy at Camp Street Prison and repeated its call for the same full disclosure of all aspects of the identical tragedy, loss of lives and destruction of property that occurred there in March 2016.
Condolences were expressed to the family of the deceased prison officer, Odinga Wickham, who died tragically after the horrific developments of the prison riot.
“The Office of the Leader of the Opposition also extends its best wishes for the full recovery of those officers who were injured during the same incident and are currently hospitalised. Their services at that time again attest to their commitment to law and order under dire situations,” the statement said.
The Opposition is also urging all Guyanese to extend their full support to the security services as they restore law and order, and reiterated that all of those who are responsible for these tragic events, particularly the politicians, must be held accountable.