Mahdia Tragedy: President urges citizens to keep opinions, early analysis off social media


In a Facebook address early Wednesday morning, President Irfaan Ali urged Guyanese to remain in sympathy with those directly affected by the fire that destroyed the Mahdia Secondary School dorms, killing 18 students and a five-year-old boy.

He believes that just three days after the event and with the country in deep mourning, opinions, and early self-generated analysis should be kept off social media platforms.

His comments came hours after a candlelight vigil was held at the Umana Yana in Georgetown and attended by survivors who were recently released from the hospital and family members.

Persons took to social media to criticise their inclusion in the night’s events but Dr. Ali has said that the government’s only intent is to honour the wishes of the survivors and family members.

“I am urging all Guyanese to desist from self-analysis, from reviewing timelines in the stories of all these girls, and from analysing the life story of all of these girls at this time.

“There is a time and place for everything. Let us focus using of social media for motivational quotes, prayers, inspirational songs, uplifting messages and not an opportunity to theorise and come up with (your) own theories on these beautiful children’s lives,” Dr. Ali said.

He reasoned that it is a time for national and collective responsibility.

“Yes, we are a very opinionated society. We all have opinions on what is right and wrong and what should and should not be done but as I said before, myself and government, as far as possible, will fulfil the wishes and desires of the children and their families,” Dr. Ali added.

He clarified that every decision taken is done in consultation with the family and children and their wishes and desires are being given priority.

“So, put your opinions in a backseat and let’s put these children in the front seat as a priority,” the Head of State urged.

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