‘I will sacrifice everything for a unified Guyana’ – Pres. Ali urges unity after violent protest
By Fareeza Haniff
Following a day of violent protest that led to looting, robbery and destruction of private properties, President Dr Irfaan Ali says he will continue to fight for a Guyana free from hate and racism, emphasising that he will “sacrifice everything” for a united country.
“My job is a very complex job but at the end of it, this is what I’m going to sacrifice everything for [and] I’ve asked every member of the government… and that is a Guyana that is unified, a Guyana that delivers prosperity for all its citizens, a Guyana in which we respect each other, a Guyana in which we can have fierce debate, fierce conversation but grounded in respect,” the Head of State told reporters at the sidelines of an event at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown on Wednesday night.
Following the violent protest during which people were assaulted and robbed at the Mon Repos Market on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), President Ali said he contemplated doing a live broadcast from a cemetery to remind citizens of their final destination in life.
“This morning (Wednesday), I was contemplating doing something very strange. I was contemplating going to sit in a burial ground and to do a live [broadcast] from there and to remind everybody that at the end of the day, that’s our final destination.
You want to fight, you want to break up…that’s our final destination,” President Ali said.
Protesters took to the streets from the community of Golden Grove, ECD, calling for justice over the killing of 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus who was shot by a policeman during an alleged undercover police operation at Haslington, ECD on June 10.
The investigation is being led by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA); the cop in question, Kristoff De Nobrega remains under ‘open arrest’ under police guard at the headquarters of the Tactical Services Unit (TSU).
The protesters were angry over an inaccurate report published by a facetious online outlet that the policeman was released from custody without being charged.
The President on Wednesday urged Guyanese to respect and trust “institutions” like the PCA to do their work.
“And I am hoping for the day to come as we build institutions, that people respect the institutions, that people await the outcome of institutions. We can’t have institutions that are independent of the government and then have the government dictate what the institutions must do.
“The country has to evolve to a place where institutions are trusted,” the Head of State pleaded.
He emphasised that every single Guyanese, whether they work in the media, the political Opposition or government, must decide if they want a unified Guyana.
“For me, I’ve made a decision that every single thing that I have in me, every ounce of energy is directed towards this.”
President Ali said a “revolutionary movement” should start with the sole aim of pushing the “One Guyana” initiative.