President Ali urges responsible use of social media, respect for grieving Mahdia families

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has urged Guyanese to desist from posting harmful theories and speculation on social media regarding the Mahdia Secondary dormitory fire which claimed the lives of 19 children.

“There is a time and place for everything. Let us focus our use of social media on motivational quotes, prayers, inspirational songs, and uplifting messages, and not an opportunity to come up with our own theories on these beautiful children’s lives,” President Ali said in a live statement on Wednesday morning.

He stressed that the focus at present should be supporting the grieving families and children, who are going through unimaginable pain.

The president called for collective responsibility and asked that respect be shown for the affected children, their families, teachers, and the communities.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali offering words of comfort to a grieving family member during the national vigil

“Social media is a powerful tool.  It’s a tool, in situations like these, that must be utilised within some guidelines and some rules. I am urging all Guyanese to desist from self-analysis, from reviewing timeline stories of all these girls, and from analysing the life story of all these girls at this time,” he urged.

The head of state said while a very opinionated culture exists in Guyana, the government is in consultation with the affected families, and will, as far as possible, respect and fulfil their wishes.

“Everything that we are doing, we are doing it in consultation with these families and children. We are putting their wishes and their desires as far as possible in the front seat. I ask all of us to do the same. Let us put our opinions and our desires for once, in the backseat, and put these children and these families in the front seat as the priority of our nation at this time.”

President Ali pointed out that on the coastland, people may not understand the tremendous impact the love they are exhibiting is having on those affected by the tragedy.

“When they are out here with us now, and they see us with them collectively sharing in their pain, collectively working to uplift them in spirit and hope, it gives them strength.”

He said Guyanese must continue to support them at this time, even as government supports the respective communities with the necessary psychological help.

“This is not a one-day or two-day…or one-week agenda. This will be months and even years ahead of support that we must give them as a people, that the government has committed itself to supporting…and shouldering this great hurt that these families and children are undergoing,” President Ali expressed.