President warns against political mischief, division; urges unity in Republic Day address


President Dr Irfaan Ali in his address to the nation on the occasion of Guyana’s 52nd Republic Anniversary advanced his One Guyana vision but was highly critical of persons in political and civic circles who seek to sabotage efforts towards a politically and socially unified Guyana.

The President spoke during the flag raising ceremony at Public Buildings, Brickdam Georgetown on Tuesday night and said that his government welcomes constructive criticisms that are geared towards advancing Guyana as a society.

Dr. Ali said, however, that those criticisms would not be accepted if it violates the principles of a healthy debate and exchange of views which would allow for critical examinations of policies, programmes, initiatives and plans.

“These discussions must not be based on selfish agenda, bias perception, propaganda and feelings…instead, they must be firmly rooted in facts and a pragmatic understanding of what is required in this rapidly changing Guyana,” Dr. Ali said as he seemingly addressed political opponents in the APNU+AFC Opposition.

He used the address to examine 10 areas in which Guyanese must understand their responsibility, role and function – both at a personal level and at a national level.

Among those 10 areas, the President said that Guyanese must guard their attitude to ensure it is not always a complaining and negative one.

“Where does such an attitude take us? And what do we hope to achieve?” he questioned.

President Irfaan Ali and Frist Lady Arya Ali arrive for thew Flag Raising ceremony at Public Buildings

Dr. Ali said despite his government’s efforts towards ensuring prosperity for all, there are chronic naysayers who find fault in everything the government does.

He said the government will continue to push back against attitudes set in misrepresentation and political mischief.

“Our character as a people must never allow our country to be among those where democracy and freedoms are illusions,” he added.

The Head of State is also concerned about the narrative being written of Guyana locally and internationally.

“We must write our own narrative for the future, however, that future must be mindful of the experiences of others and flexible enough to be globally acceptable.”

Also among the ten points by the President are the country’s value and belief system, objectivity and realistic goals.

Dr. Ali said no longer must the seed of discord and division be sewn and racism used as a tool for selfish gains.

“We must not fall prey to those pursuing this path.”

Dr. Ali said too that no longer should citizens form opinions about national development based on perception, wild accusations, personal vendetta and social or political alignment.

He said too that his government was realistic and humble enough to say when it does not know and reach for answers where it exists.

“This is the reason local content legislation was developed with realistic understanding of where we are as a country and we have made commitments in our manifesto to do things in five years and not one and two years.”

It is on this premise that Dr. Ali pointed out his government’s desire to set achievable targets and ensure a governance system that is efficient, reliable, trustworthy, accountable, simple, responsive and flexible.

The Head of State said all of this was being done to ensure Guyana is positioned rightfully in the global village.

“We as a people must understand what our country has to offer and where it will be positioned in the future… it is our collective efforts that will position us among the best internationally.”

And finally, the people; the President recommitted to educating and training the population.

“People are the greatest asset and this must be harnessed efficiently to advance productivity.

“We as people must change our attitude, culture and values… That will ultimately determine our success as one Guyana.

“This is not the time to sit back and watch the journey unfold. This is time to embrace the train of success… This is the time to be positive and remove negative,” Dr. Ali said.

The President’s message was based on advancing the ‘One Guyana’ ideal as he pushed back against efforts to derail that.

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