It is most painful to recall from our history the dark PNC era which made supporters of the People’s Progressive Party the target for blatant acts of thuggery and bullyism. The only fault of these people is that they are perceived to be supporters of the PPP and nothing else! Thuggery and bullyism are the trademarks of the PNC since its formation but it is unimaginable that the paraphernalia of the PPP is now being subjected to such blatant acts of violence and destruction in broad daylight. It leaves us to wonder what will happen as we advance closer to the elections and its aftermath. The incitement by the PNC leaders is once again taking centre stage.
It leaves us to wonder that after all the baptismal name changes that the PNC has gone through that yet it cannot project a clean, honest and dignified image to the populace, instead, its dirty image is now on social media for the world at large to witness. Why have the leaders of the PNC condone such barbaric acts in these civilised and modern times? Flags do not vote at elections, people do. Such vile and vulgar display by the PNC supporters are intolerable. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that the PNC leaders condone such behaviour and even encourage them. For instance, the words of Volda Lawrence, Granger and Harmon immediately come to mind. This is not unlike the words of their past leaders such as Burnham and Hoyte.
The Chair of the PNC, Volda Lawrence urged supporters at the Kitty Market Square to be vigilant at the close of polls to guard against any interference during the counting of the ballots at the polling stations and “to remain until they get it right..our strong men will be mobilised to follow that ballot box”. Lawrence should be aware that from history, it is the PNC which has been guilty of stealing and tampering with ballot boxes and only one interpretation can be given to her exhortation. They are the ones who will be interfering. Why not urge them to go home after voting and let the GECOM officials and our security forces do their jobs? They do not have to follow ballot boxes, it is the PNC who has been guilty of stealing and tampering with ballot boxes from 1968 to 1985! It would seem that Lawrence is once again encouraging such activities. It must be recalled that it is this same person who spewed racial rhetoric about jobs for the PNC people only. Dr Thomas of the TIGI had said that her behaviour needed to be arrested but it seems that after apologising she is involved in another detrimental ‘game of incitement’ which can encourage violence on Elections Day.
Then Harmon did his own incitement of race and violence at Buxton labelling the Afro-Guyanese who supported the PPP/C as “Black tokenism”. It must be recalled that Buxton had seen many violent acts against PPP supporters in the form of ‘freedom fighters’ and such rhetoric can only ignite racial disharmony and clashes with Blacks who support the PPP/C. Moreover, in September last year, Granger had lied about PPP protesters attempted to overturn a Minister’s vehicle and referred to them as ‘hooligans’. Such lies again can result in violence against the PPP/C supporters, this strategy was used in the past to incite riots. The police must do their jobs. Granger should know from experience and hooliganism and thuggery belong to the PNC, he propagated and nurtured those under the PNC. Not to be outdone, Basil Williams made his ‘dire consequences’ threat. The PPP has always conducted peaceful and non-violent protests and has never been involved in electoral violence and fraud.
In summary, all the elections since 1992 have been marked by violent street protests and how can we ever forget Hoyte’s ‘march of defiance’ and his ‘slow fyah mo fyah’ slogan which he aimed at making the country ‘ungovernable’. Then Granger took over where Hoyte had left off and immediately the Agricola protest comes to mind which according to former President Donald Ramotar, it was “well-planned and centrally directed violence against many innocent people”. I do not want to go back to the House of Israel and the infamous Rabbi Washington who wreaked havoc on behalf of the PNC during its 28 years of dictatorial rule. History is replete with many instances of thuggery and bullyism and the resultant mayhem by the PNC and I am sure that we have not seen the end of those characteristics, they are brewing it again. Will this election be free from such thuggery and bullyism given the commencement of the destruction of the PPP/C’s paraphernalia? We can only hope that PPP/C’s prime ministerial candidate’s call for a peaceful election is heeded and that the PNC can follow suit.
Burnham had once said that “Those who call off the dogs own the dogs” and I do believe it’s still relevant today. Change must come from within!