President Ali urges remaining Mocha squatters not to be used as ‘political pawns’
– says homes available for their immediate occupation
President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali says his government stands ready to relocate the remaining Mocha squatters into new, comfortable homes to allow for the progress of the four-lane Interlink Highway.
His statement, on Thursday, comes amidst the escalating issue of Mocha-Arcadia squatters refusing to vacate the government’s reserve, under the direction of APNU+AFC Members of Parliament (MPs).
“To the seven families, this government stands ready to welcome you and take you into your new homes, and to remove you from the illegally occupied reserve, and to give you a better life, choose wisely. Think wisely and do not be used opportunistically for any political messaging or narrative,” President Ali urged.
For the past few weeks, the government has been publishing all it has done to ensure the seamless movement of those who are squatting, so that the Eccles to Diamond Interlink Road, set to benefit tens of thousands of Guyanese, could be completed.
So far, 28 families have already relocated from the reserve to nearby residential areas. They have rebuilt new homes through government compensation of over $250 million.
“The fact is, this is a government reserve. Persons are illegally squatting along the reserve. Twenty-eight families to date, who were there on the reserve, have peacefully relocated. They understand the vision of development.
“Not only were they relocated to nearby residential areas, but have completely new homes rebuilt through a government compensation programme, notwithstanding the illegal occupation,” Dr Ali explained.
He maintained that the government is caring and responsive to all its citizens. The president said his government offered compensation and re-housing to the remaining squatters.
This, the head of state said, will give them legal lands, for which they will receive titles and therefore increase their net value.
Now, the president reiterated, the ball is in the court of the seven remaining families.
He also called on them not to be used as political tools and pawns of a few individuals who are angry at the development taking place in the country, but to consider the value that will come to them and the country once they make the right decision.
Further, he said the opposition continues to demonstrate its political opportunism, lack of leadership, and irresponsibility at every given opportunity.
He expressed his dismay and disappointment at how far the opposition is willing to go to hamper development in the country, calling out the unreasonable behaviour as uncharacteristic of good leadership.
“Leadership is about responsibility, leadership is about understanding that you have a role to play in specifying that is positive, one that must be based on the level of trust and integrity. Not one that is opportunistic in nature, and one that seeks only to divide and to use every occasion that you believe you can extract a divisive message to do so,” he added.