President David Granger wants Guyanese to seize the opportunity of Guyana’s 46th Republic anniversary to work for greater national unity.
In his Republic Day message, the President said “We can be one nation only if all sections of our population feel that they are an integral part of and share in our country’s development.”
He added that national unity must be pursued at all levels, pointing out that “We must, in 2016, narrow the differences and divisions between our political parties through the promotion of dialogue and the intensification of political cooperation and consensus-based decision-making.”
“Guyanese must, at the national level, eradicate the suspicions that promote tensions and strife. We must dispel prejudice and hatred amongst individuals and groups. We must move forward as a united nation, constantly reaffirming our national motto: one people, one nation, one destiny”, Mr. Granger said.
The President reminded that by Guyana moving towards a Republic status, it decided to make a Guyanese the head of state and move away completely from the British Monarchy. He said the nation must do better and pointed to democracy and the upcoming local government elections.
“Democracy is about placing power in the hands of the people. The changes wrought by becoming a republic were part of a process of democratic renewal. They were intended to place power into the hands of the people by making “the small man the real man.” They enabled the common folk, through their communities, collectives and cooperatives, to promote their economic self-improvement.”
He said his government will fulfill its promise to conduct local government elections “in order to empower our citizens in their village communities and municipalities after two nightmarish decades of municipal despotism. Local government elections will empower residents and enrich communities.”
“Guyanese must use this opportunity of the holding of local government elections on 18th March to continue the process of democratic renewal which has been denied to our people for twenty-two years”, the President reasoned.
According to the President, Local government elections will re-emphasise the importance of communities and will empower elected local representatives, “thereby allowing citizens to administer their own affairs more competently and to contribute more fully to the development of their communities.”
“Guyanese must seize the opportunity of this anniversary to improve the communities in which they live in order to avert decline. The social problems – alcoholism and drug abuse; crime; homelessness; interpersonal violence; poverty and suicide – and the threat they present to the common good demand urgent attention and action, especially at the level of the community”, Mr. Granger said.