Whatever may be said in defense of it, the demolition of the Region 9 political office of the PNC/APNU in the wee hours of the morning of March 2nd, 2023 was a brutal act of tyranny unbecoming of a civilized nation or government. REO of Region 9 Mr. Karl Singh, along with Minister of Local Government, Mr. Nigel Dharamlall, contended that the APNU officials were served eviction notices on the grounds that the land belongs to the government.
But serving eviction notices does not justify forceful demolition of a property that was occupied by the affected political group for more than 45 years. A spokesperson for the APNU told this publication that several million dollars of equipment along with important documents were lost. On the other hand, the REO of Region 9 stated that the belongings from the office were moved safely and stored securely.
Government officials have stated that the land, which they say belongs to the government, is being prepared for a health facility. However, the Lethem Regional Hospital is just two streets away from the demolished office, and there is no pressing importance to erect a health facility at that locality. Further, the government has no shortage of land or money, and can easily select a better location for the construction of the proposed health facility.
We must take into consideration the fact that the property in question was assigned in the late 1970s or early 80s when the PNC was in power. It remained theirs for 47 years during which the country changed governments several times. At no point in time was it transferred to a private individual because it might be both unethical and unnecessary to do so. In all fairness, the PNC/R retains prescriptive rights to the said property which has remained theirs through successive governments.
Incendiary acts like these lend to national strife, acrimony, and potential destabilization of the country. They also cast a bad light on the government of the day. All governments in power should respect their political opponents and conduct themselves in a cordial manner, fighting their battles only at the polls and setting an example for the general populace. When governments in power act irresponsibly and stimulate bitterness, it is the common people on the ground who suffer.
Team Guyana, South America calls on the Guyana government to reverse its irresponsible, childish actions and make amends to the affected group for loss and damage of property.