President expresses condolences to family of slain prison officer

President David Granger has assured the nation that, within 12 hours, the authorities would be able to successfully place all the Camp Street prisoners in secure locations at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara; Timehri, East Bank Demerara; and Mazaruni, Region 7.
“I expect that within a short period of time, within 12 hours, all the prisoners would be back in secure locations,” the President told his Press Officer in an interview late Sunday night.
President Granger made the address following an emergency National Security Meeting at State House. The President sought to assure the citizenry that the administration is working assiduously to address security concerns and re-capture the escaped inmates.
“The Government is acting very quickly to ensure that the prisoners are caught; and more importantly, those prisoners who were previously accommodated at the Georgetown Prison are kept in a secure place. This is our task on Sunday night, and I am very confident that by Monday morning the prisoners will be in secure accommodation,” he assured.
He added that there will be no prisoners roaming the city or the countryside, and urged persons not to panic. The President said he was informed that many of the inmates were assisting efforts to save the buildings and documents.
Granger told his Press Officer that overcrowding at the Georgetown Prison is a problem that has been existing for a number of years. He noted the sloth in regard to trials, and the large number of persons on remand. He promised action is being taken to ensure that the number of persons on remand are given speedy trials to ease the overcrowding.
“Prisoners should not be remanded for petty offences like stealing cellphones, dealing with a few joints of ganja, or something like that. There are far too many people on remand, and the Magistracy must act more quickly to ensure the persons who are charged with offences are punished and taken out of the prison system,” the President highlighted.
President Granger also expressed condolences to the family of Prison Officer Odinga Wickham, who was killed in the incident. Wickham received a gunshot wounds and several chops wounds, and died while receiving treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
It has been almost 480 days since the President’s last press conference. He usually engages selected media houses on his weekly programme the Public Interest, which is moderated by his press team.
However, there have been calls from members of the Guyana Press Association and the public for President Granger to hold more press conferences to update the nation on developments taking place.