There was a real sense of hope, joy and the unification of a wide cross-section of residents as they took the opportunity to meet with His Excellency, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali in Region 2 on Wednesday at the RDC Boardroom in Anna Regina during a working engagement.
Accompanying the President were the Honourable Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and key personnel from a number of agencies including Housing, Water, NIS, NDIA, Private Sector, GPL and the GLSC. Indeed, it was a pivotal and fitting stroke by the President to engage with the masses on important social issues particularly in such a testing time and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was a signal of a strong leader who is committed to bettering the lives of people even at risk to him.
It was very touching as I witnessed him grounding with ordinary people and staff members with the touching of elbows and with a broad smile exuding his youth, confidence and assurance. The day was a very busy one as in excess of 200 residents came to have their issues addressed. In one instance, an elderly male who was not in receipt of an NIS pension had his matter solved immediately by the President and he was overjoyed. There were several other successful related interventions.
In fact, the President’s schedule was to conclude at 3 pm, but it lasted until after 5 pm as he ensured that everyone had the opportunity to meet him. There was no break during the process which was another admirable gesture including the President facilitating the elderly by meeting them at another area where they did not have to climb the long stairs. As I observed the anxious gathering, I felt a deep sense of pride given that the expectations were huge and persons felt that this was a golden moment for them. They were excited throughout the process including a professional approach from other personnel who assisted in whichever area needed attention. In one instance, a staff was summoned by the President. Upon his return he stated with a smile that His Excellency was very intimidating as he was looking all the time in his eyes seeking answers. It was an approach he described as being firm and characteristic of a results-oriented leader.
I wish to also commend the Regional Executive Officer, Mr. Devanand Ramdatt and the Regional Administration for seamlessly organizing, including the tireless effort of staff members. It was a proud moment for Essequibians and I wish to thank His Excellency for touching the lives of many and for which they are now better prepared to enjoy the good life that will embrace them in the near future.