By Tracey Khan-Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Presidential Candidate of the APNU+AFC coalition, Brigadier David Granger has said that the ruling party’s continued criticisms of the APNU/AFC political faction for its inclusion of former service men in its hierarchy is nothing short of hypocrisy.
The Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has said that the presence of the former servicemen is an indication that the Opposition wants to take Guyana to a “military state.”
Granger made the comment on Sunday April 12 while attending a commemorative church service marking the one-year anniversary of the merger of the Guyana Legion and Ex-GDF Association into the Guyana Veteran’s Legion.
Granger was very passionate in his delivery to the veterans, contending that the PPP continues to peddle lies against the men and women who have served Guyana honorably.
“It is deceitful for them to speak about militarization, they militarize the government long before the national assembly came into being, there are two former military officers in the national assembly or what use to be the national assembly, Brigadier Granger and Colonel Harmon, two out of 65.”
He pointed to what he deemed “hypocrisy” from the PPP, who employed an expelled veteran in its cabinet as its Ministry of Home Affairs.
“They make the biggest mistake when they were the ones who put in the PPP cabinet a GDF officer who had been cashiered, Ronald Jairam Gajraj. I almost choked to say veteran but it was the PPP that put him in the cabinet so they found use for former soldiers.”
He also acknowledged the numerous sacrifices veterans make while serving their country, “many people do not know about broken families when we have to spend months in the border, many people don’t know about our training, many people don’t know about the number of soldiers who have died in service, the diseases that they have contracted.”
He said proper provisions are not in place for ex- veterans when they retire and many of them end up with, “we have the training and leadership skill to do something better but because of the state of the economy were confined to poor paying jobs, many of us have migrated and have done well… some of us have surrendered our youths for this country.”
He also noted that his motion to establish a national veterans commission which was approved in the national assembly with support from the AFC, “but the President never implemented it, the commander in chief, the patron of this organization never implemented it, I don’t know any part of the western hemisphere where an executive of an administration could be so dismissive of his veterans.”
“Veterans need to be placed on a sound economic footing and pay them due respect.”
His proposal for veterans, a veteran’s act, provides for the welfare of all military veterans in Guyana.