Granger calls for ‘cooperation not confrontation’
President David Granger has urged residents of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) to work together and cooperate for the good of the country as he officially declared Lethem a Town on Friday, October 20, 2017.
According to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, the President called for “cooperation and not confrontation.”
President Granger explained that the administration of Region Nine takes place at four levels – internationally, regionally, municipally and at the level of Central Government.
“All four levels, all four strata have to work together. Who wins is this Region is divided? Who will gain and who will feel pain? If we work together, all of us will thrive… We have plans and those plans are aimed at developing quality services to all of your people. Lethem must become an attractive destination for business; for tourism,” the Head of State said.
The President’s comments came a day after Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo vowed not to cooperate with the APNU+AFC government in the future, following Granger’s unilateral decision to appoint retired Judge, Justice James Patterson as the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Jagdeo also made it clear that he will urge his supporters to do the same as the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) moves to launch countrywide protests against the President’s decision.
Meanwhile, according to the government release, President Granger said that the elevation of a community like Lethem to township status is a transformative and defining moment in the country’s history, which will serve as a catalyst for economic development for the Region.
“Calling Lethem a capital town is not cosmetic or superficial; this is an important part of our development. People may not realise it now but this will be a transformative moment in Guyana’s history. We want to see this capital town become a source of public service,” he said.
The release noted that he reminded residents of the erosion of democracy, which they were forced to endure when the previous administration dissolved the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and replaced it with an Interim Management Committee (IMC).
Since taking Office, the President has created four new towns including Mabaruma, Bartica, Mahdia and of course, Lethem as part of his push towards the creation of economic centres in each Region. However, Mahdia has not yet been officially declared a town.
President Granger explained that citizens must move away from the “compound” mentality, which the country inherited from the colonial era, and become thriving communities.