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You couldn’t think of President David Granger without being reminded of his accomplished military stature.

There are no shortage of tales of his military acumen, starting as early as when he was a Queens College Cadet which progressed seemingly naturally to Mons Cadet School and School of Infantry in the United Kingdom. His military career was a fluid one; punctuated along the way with the acquisition of ever escalating military knowledge; copious workshops on urban planning and counter terrorism.

And, as he advanced in his career, he held significant positions like Chairman of the Central Intelligence Committee, Co Chairman of the Border and National Security Committee, member of the Guyana Defence Board, National Drug Law Enforcement Committee, Disciplined Forces Commission. As a senior military officer he was selected to lead several military missions to foreign countries where bilateral defence agreements were negotiated and signed.

Many of the President’s men are military professionals as well. If tallied, there are hundreds of combined years of military expertise amongst these men – many of whom reached the highest ranks in the country’s military body.

Having said all this, why is Bobby Viera – known more as the Administration’s impresario than their guru on security – making press announcements on the anticipated level of security during the historic week of Independence Jubilee Celebration? What is this ‘accreditation’ that a person has to apply for and be granted, that Bobby bumbled through in an interview with Inews?

The kinder explanation would be that Inews misquoted the man because the explanation doesn’t make much security sense at all. Every person attending every event has to be accredited? We can see participants in events, reporters, large bodies like choirs, having to go through that process because that’s where ‘accreditation’ seems practical.

But patrons? How will they be ‘accredited’? Maybe the plan is for a pre-purchase of tickets to events, which would mean that a specified number of entrants will be allowed attendance based on venues and seating availability  – nixing the possibility of walk-ins.

But how does this deter someone with ill intent from buying a ticket if all the ‘accreditation’ he needs is a photograph and an application to earn him a badge? If this person entered the country through its porous borders and works with one of the poorly supervised job sectors that are the domain of foreigners, or was issued a passport and identification card under the Gajraj or Rohee Home Affairs tenures, how is he flagged as a security threat? And how about the other areas of security, like the scam artist, robbers of parked cars, pickpockets and bogus taxi services that could potentially swarm the exterior of venues?

Whether Bobby misspoke or was misquoted, this clumsy recitation of what patrons should expect as security measures should never have come from him. Had he been advised on the explicit parameters of his responsibility, he would have known that the protocol answer would have been “well thought out safety measures have been devised and will be implemented”…or words to that effect…which adds to our due anxiety over what appears to be unchecked missteps and free style public statements too often; by too many.

Many of us know this President to be a man of organization, professional integrity, fond of protocol but we’re concerned that these traits remain in his office and are not being trickled down to those who represent him at the various agencies of government.

It’s been ten months since they took office and we’re still in a state of unease. Good things have happened and we have given them due applause and requisite support.

But too much remains pending; in a state of suspension; padded by political propaganda; shielded by political pretense.

Too often the facts defy the logic of ensuing action by this government and we get the feeling of being duped, as if there has been an unholy decision to disregard the things that should be addressed with requisite swiftness.

But we’re paying attention and will continue to call for action where it remains absent or at best strategically lethargic.

The Commission of Inquiry into the death of prisoners remains an international embarrassment, benefactors of the largess from the misappropriation of public funds under the Jagdeo/Ramotar Administrations are now bedfellows of this new government …. to touch on a few palpable concerns.

And we remain watchful; vigilant; poised to share the pulse of the people.

We will not be tolerant of mediocrity in the public square….

Security is top priority for Guyana’s 50th jubilee celebrations


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