The decision by the Progressive Youth Organisation to host a candle light vigil to lend its voice to the campaign to have the school girls kidnapped in Nigeria returned to their homes, was met with opposition by a number of other youth groups and youth organisations who launched their own “#bringback” campaign outside the PYO’s vigil at the seawall on Monday night.
The PYO is the youth arm of the governing People’s Progressive Party and a number of social activists and youth leaders criticised the organisation for its silence on many local issues affecting Guyanese youths while wanting to lend its voice to issues outside of Guyana. Activist Mark Jacobs in a Facebook post challenged the PYO to encourage its leaders to “#bringback accountability and justice” to Guyana. He has been very outspoken about the police shooting of a 15-year-old boy in his mouth and the police beating of Colwyn Harding. Charges against police officers are still to be filed in both matters.
During the PYO’s #bringback our girls vigil on Monday evening, several youth activists turned up with placards demanding that the PPP’s youth group stop ignoring the injustices taking place in Guyana, especially those affecting many of the youths of Guyana. Some officials of the PYO have said that the group has not been ignoring local issues.
Among those joining the PYO vigil last evening were First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar and First Son Alexi Ramotar. The younger Ramotar is a senior member of the PYO and spoke at the vigil even as the other youth leaders held their placards about the need for justice in Guyana in place.