By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally has fired back at Former People’s Progressive Party/Civic Member of Parliament, Bishop Juan Edghill over his concerns about the responsibilities of the Social Cohesion Ministry.
During her presentation to the National Assembly on Friday, June 26, Ally made it clear that Edghill lacks the moral authority to question her responsibilities and say what she can and cannot do as the Minister of Social Cohesion.
Edghill, in a recent statement to the media, pointed out that the June 6 issue of the official gazette identifies Minister Ally as having responsibilities for “Ethnic Relations.”
He explained that such a responsibility should not be given to a government Minister, since the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) is a constitutional Body, tasked with investigating the Executive itself.
“This needs urgent clarification, since the Ethnic Relations Commission which is a constitutional body among its functions is to investigate actions taken by the Executive itself.The Constitution is clear; the ERC functions and discharges its responsibilities without the interference, input or direction from the Government of the day,” the Former PPP/C Minister stated in the release.
Concluding that Ally is responsible for the ERC, Edghill said “to have a Minister placed in charge of the Ethnic Relations Commission is to subject this duly appointed constitutional body to the directions of the Executive. This ought not to happen.”
But during her first speech in the eleventh Parliament, Ally responded to Edghill personally; though she did not address the concerns.
“Mr Juan Edghill, does not have the locus standi or any moral authority to challenge me about what not to do or what to do about this ministry. It was Juan Edghill who politicized the Ethnic Relations Commission and caused a plethora of problems,” said Ally.
The Minister told the House that she would “leave the grass for the animals to eat; we in the APNU+AFC know what we have to do and we will do it.”
Ally pointed out that the Social Cohesion Ministry should be perceived “as national importance; therefore leaders at all levels should sanction it…we must want it; it must come from within us.”
“I want to make it very clear, this ministry is talking about uniting us…our work must be to develop Guyana,” Ally stated.