May 15, 2004
THE PPP/Civic administration, from the moment it assumed office in October of 1992, adopted an approach to governance that is people-oriented. Its then leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, once said that people were the "tonic" that kept him going.
Those familiar with the early politics of the country would recall a statement by Dr. Jagan when he won a seat in the colonial-dominated Legislative Assembly, that "for the first time in the history of the country the Legislature was brought to the people and the people to the Legislature."
Now, as is its wont, interfacing with the people at the grassroots level has become one of the hallmarks of this current administration. This is manifested in several ways, such as taking Cabinet meetings to the different regions of the country where Cabinet members took the opportunity to meet with residents and to get a first-hand look at issues of concern to them in their respective communities.
Several issues are known to have been resolved on the spot, based on visits to the beneficiary areas in question by top state functionaries, including the President and his ministers.
There can be no substitute for going in the fields and having a first-hand account of issues affecting people. Too often complaints remain stuck on the desk of some government bureaucrat for months and eventually go unsolved, much to the frustration whose lives and livelihoods are affected in adverse ways.
In the final analysis, it is the Government that is blamed, even though the problem might never have surfaced on the desk of the responsible Minister.
President Jagdeo must be commended for walking in the footsteps of his predecessors, by touching base with the Guyanese people. Hardly a day passes without the President going out and meeting with people in their communities, including those that were hitherto overlooked by the former PNC administration.
This weekend the President is scheduled to visit the Essequibo island of Wakenaam, where, as usual, he will meet with residents to get a sense of the issues affecting them.
As one writer in our letter column puts it, President Jagdeo is a man of the people. He meets with the people, listens to them and walks with them. And this is done without any sense of pretension and with the media in mind, as one particular presidential aspirant is wont to do.
There can be no greater service than service to the people. This is what the Government has pledged to do and, we are sure, will continue to do.
This, indeed, can be considered as a defining characteristic of this current PPP/Civic administration!