Ossie switches support to APNU+AFC

Dear News Source,

In 1990 when I joined the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO0, I felt a sense of pride and patriotism.

I felt the desire to do something for the country I love and believe that I could make a better contribution in the PYO and then eventually in the PPP, after all, this was Guyana’s oldest political organization.

I made that decision because I was determined to make a difference in my community and country.

Dr Jagan was speaking a language that I wanted to be associated with and I was determined to follow his teachings and learn more of his ideas.

When the PPP took office in 1992, I felt vindicated by the actions I took as a little boy to support this party which was not the most popular decision to make at that time  (especially as a little boy from Linden).

I began to represent my party as a youth representative at many forums both, local and international. I believed strongly in my party and the direction we were heading. I had great privilege of working with and calling colleagues, some fine people in the PPP at all levels.

I have forged tremendous friendships, some of which I value to this day. The years I spent working and volunteering for the People’s Progressive Party were rooted in a deep desire to serve my country and its people especially the down trodden and under privileged.

The PPP has given me many opportunities to meet and interact with people from all walks of life, and in every corner of my country.

I saw first hand what real poverty is as I met with many families in all three counties of Guyana who struggle day by day to make ends meet.

I was invited into the homes of total strangers and was appalled by their standard of living. I met young men who had no prospects for jobs, single mothers who had no way of feeding their children, qualified young people who cannot find jobs and instead turned to drugs as a way of coping with their situation.

I began to think to myself there must be a better way; this is not Cheddi Jagan’s vision for his people. It began to play on my mind. Leaders of my party enjoying the finer things in life while their very supporters are struggling every day. I believe it is the government’s responsibility to ensure certain basics for the enjoyment of its citizens.

My job however, as a television presenter advocating on the behalf of the Government was to make the citizens feel as though it was a privilege whenever this PPP Government fix a road, repair a school or refurbish a healthcare facility.

Last year I was confronted with one of the biggest challenges in my life, but nothing could have prepared me when I found out that that situation which threatened my freedom and certainly called my character into question was planned and organised in a little office at Office of the President by persons who felt that I was getting too popular and decided it was time to clip my wing.

Today I decided that I can no longer support mean spirited leaders who engage in fear-mongering, victimization, race baiting and the politics of hate and character assassination as a way to win an election.

These practices only serve a selected few and are geared to create distrust and disunity among our people.

I can no longer support selfish leaders who divide people instead of bringing them together.  It is time for Leaders who will lead Guyana in a positive direction that is why I have decided today to withdraw my support for, and end my association with the People’s Progressive Party.

We need  strong, generous and kind leadership that showcases our motto,  One People, One Nation, One Destiny.

We need a government that is open to the opinion of outsiders and is willing to discuss and find consensus. We need a government that is willing to make sacrifices and compromise for the benefit of our people.

We need leaders who share a vision of how to make Guyana work for everyone. We need leaders that will strive to keep us safe in our homes, not leaders who turn a blind eye to the crime that keep us all worried and give us sleepless nights.

The same principles that motivated me back in 1990 are the same principles that motivate me now.

I want to see my country govern by people who inspires not by bullies and intimidators. I believe any person who desire to lead must have these qualities; honesty, Humility, Respect, kindness and an ability to put country and service about self, sadly I do not see this in the current batch of PPP leaders.

I have decided to leave the party which I have served since I was 15 years old and throw my full support behind the APNU+AFC partnership.

I am proud of my efforts within the PPP to represent that party and advance its causes. This decision I make today was not done easily.

I know there are some within the PPP who will immediately begin to attack my character in the same manner they have done to persons who left before me. Khemaj Ramjatan, Moses Nagamootoo, Ralph Ramkarram, Sase Narine Singh and the late Lionel Peters among others have all withstood the onslaught of this evil practice by the PPP so I have no doubt that I will endure.

It is time to embrace a new political culture, It is time for a Government of National Unity in Guyana.

Our people deserve nothing less. I did not make this decision over night, I thought long and hard but I do not see Guyana going anywhere under the PPP.

I have many friends within the PPP who are dissatisfy with the current state of affairs in the party. Some have express a desire to leave but are afraid of victimization that can follow.

I say to you follow your heart and make this decision now; you know fully well that collectively we deserve better leadership. Remove yourself from this elitist party of friends, family and cronies, A party that no longer respects the grassroots which was the core of its support.

In a few days we all have a very important decision to make, I wish to remind you all however that a vote for the PPP/C is not just a vote to make Donald Ramotar president but will be an endorsement and a continuation of all the ills that are currently eating away at our nation’s moral fiber.


Ossie Rodgers
Former TV talk show host
Radio Announcer

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