‘What have they done for Afro-Guyanese?’ – VP Jagdeo rubbishes Nigel Hughes’ claims at Cuffy250 forum

The PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has once again come under fire for its continued attempts to mislead Guyanese, particularly the Afro-Guyanese community.

While addressing a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Thursday, Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, addressed the claims by Political and Social activist, Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, at the Cuffy250’s 2023 State of African Guyanese forum.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Hughes contended that Guyana’s constitution should be amended to mandate that the government has a breakdown of data to show ethnic deprivations. This, he said, would ensure that Afro-Guyanese benefit.

While noting that Guyana’s constitution already wards against any form of discrimination, the VP dubbed Hughes’ statement as ‘pure nonsense’.

The vice president pointed out that Hughes forms part of a group of persons dedicated to stirring up trouble among the Guyanese people.

“Their only job is to ensure that Afro-Guyanese feel dissatisfied-that somehow they are not making progress, or they are not making progress as quickly as they should because the PPP discriminates against them or has policies that harm them accumulating wealth,” he stated.  

The vice president identified this group as a ‘kool-aid gang’, utilising this political tool to perpetuate a narrative of disenfranchisement and discrimination within the Afro-Guyanese community. This is a narrative that the PPP/C government has been avidly trying to deconstruct. 

“More black companies went bankrupt in the five years of APNU than any other period in our history. So, what have they done for Afro-Guyanese? They took away the children’s grant, so all the Afro-Guyanese children were deprived. They took away the water for the pensioners, those Afro-Guyanese were deprived. In Linden, they gave land to only a couple of people. Today, more people are getting land in Linden,” he said.

VP Jagdeo pointed out that this government has demonstrated a commitment to inclusivity and progress, as thousands of Afro-Guyanese benefit from a number of initiatives to improve livelihoods, including housing, education, and job creation.

The VP added that more Afro-Guyanese Lindeners and residents of Region 10 are employed under the PPP/C government, than under the Coalition leadership.

“More Afro-Guyanese have scholarships now, approximately 7,000, have scholarships now, that they didn’t have under the previous government. Thousands more got house lots under this government that they couldn’t get when APNU was in office, and they are the ones championing the cause of Afro-Guyanese. Everybody has benefitted, not only Afro-Guyanese but Amerindian people and Indo-Guyanese. We work in all the communities to ensure that they get help,” the vice president explained.