“Imagine the Leaders of the AFC said they have to prove to APNU and Guyana that they are not dead…I suspect that in the APNU circle, they have formed the same impression that we [PPP] have formed- that AFC is dead on the ground as you have seen.”
Those were the words of Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday afternoon during a press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office.
He was at the time remarking on the recent announcement by the Alliance for Change (AFC) that they’ve chosen to go solo at the Local Government Elections (LGE) to prove to themselves and the electorate that they are not “dead.”
Jagdeo went on to chide the AFC, highlighting that they have once again started their campaign on a bunch of false news and promises.
“…in trying to create this impression that they’re different, they’re saying to people, that the APNU group in Government is the corrupt group. They are not. They’ve started spreading that on the ground- that the AFC people have been struggling internally within the Government…to fight against corruption but the APNU people are dominating them. They’ve started in Berbice again saying ‘oh they were opposed to the closure of the sugar industry’- which is not substantiated by facts,” he posited.
“We have them defending the closure vociferously, even more than the APNU people and it was [Moses] Nagamootoo who took that message of closure, long before the decision had been made to close the Rosehall estate,” said Jagdeo.
The Opposition Leader also deemed the fact that the AFC is not claiming responsibility for the corruption taking place under the Coalition Administration, as laughable, since several AFC Ministers have significant portfolios to play.
He outlined that during, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder’s tenure, Guyanese have witnessed the “help” withdrawn from rice farmers, an excess of $800M from drainage and irrigation and farm to market roads being cut from the Budget, a significant increase of water and land charges from $3,500 per acre per year to $15,000 for the same period, in addition to 7000 persons being rendered jobless as a result of the closure of several sugar estates.
Moreover, Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin was accused of doing nothing to help the growth of the Business community.
Furthermore, AFC Party Leader, Raphael Trotman- who is also the Natural Resources Minister-, Jagdeo says, may have squandered a historic opportunity for Guyanese through his poor negotiations with oil giant, ExxonMobil.
In addition, Jagdeo asserted that Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan continues to live in a bubble with regards to the crime rate.
“Khemraj Ramjattan, another leader of the AFC is totally lost in fighting crime. He gives excuses, he whips out a series of statistics, showing some reduction in crime and I really believe the statistics now are fudged, when you compare that with the reality of what’s happening.”
The Opposition Leader also posited that the Prime Minister, Nagamoottoo is now playing a crucial part of ‘selling dreams’ to Guyanese through his campaign for LGE, while asserting that he does very little and “just lives off of taxpayers’ money.” (Ramona Luthi)