PNCR critical of Buxton bridge block
January 31, 2003
The PNCR has criticised the government’s recent decision to block bridges leading into Buxton and Friendship in a bid to combat crime.
On Tuesday the Ministry of Public Works upon a request made by the Ministry of Home Affairs erected barriers equipped with large steel planks on both bridges which connect Friendship to Vigilance and Buxton to Annandale. The decision was taken in light of several attacks by armed gangs coming from Buxton and Friendship.
Asked about the initiative at the party’s weekly press conference yesterday central executive member, Deryck Bernard said, “what I know is that crime fighting methods should be more broad-based and not just for a time. It is clear from this last move that the government does not have a comprehensive response to fighting crime which is not what the country needs right now.”
Bernard contended that as far he knows the new strategy would not help the situation, but rather worsen the relationships between the communities.
When asked whether the party would undertake the responsibility of visiting Buxton and persuading villagers not to harbour criminals in their community, Bernard’s response was that “recently some executive members of the PNCR visited the village and listened to the views of the people and as such a meeting with the Commissioner of Police was arranged.”
He said his party was against crime and would continue to support the security forces in their effort to combat the worsening crime situation in the country.
Commenting on President Jagdeo’s remarks which he made last week criticising the security forces’ failure to combat crime, Bernard said Jagdeo’s utterances were most unfortunate for several reasons, but more particularly “because he is unwittingly abdicating his responsibility as President and Head of the Cabinet and Government.
He and his colleagues are responsible for policy and not the executing agencies which carry them out.”
Bernard noted that if the policies are bad and useless, he as commander-in-chief and head of government is to be blamed. “It is both invidious and a bizarre reading for him to blame the security forces for the errors of judgment of his ministers and himself”, Bernard said.
According to Bernard, Guyanese will recall that when the PNCR had criticised the policies, including the poorly thought out intervention by the GDF, they were stoutly defended by Jagdeo and Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj.
Bernard argued that Jagdeo had now recognised his errors and was seeking to blame others. (Nigel Williams)