…says PPP did the same
In light of mounting concerns from the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and other quarters of society over the increasing militarisation of Guyana, President David Granger, who himself is a retired Army Chief-of-Staff, has sought to defend his Administration’s appointments of several military personalities in high profile positions.
The President told reporters during the taping of this week’s television programme – The Public Interest – on Thursday that the military officers appointed by his Administration are experienced and competent persons.
“These are human beings, these are people with skills, you know. They are not a separate breed of citizens, we can’t deprive them of their rights if they have the talent, the experience, the qualifications,” Granger stated.
According to the Head of State, his Administration is facing the brunt of criticism on militarisation when the mass appointments of Army officers to senior Government positions began under the Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar led Administrations.
In fact, he disclosed that when he took office in May 2015, there were about 10 Army officers who were appointed by the PPP/C Administration. The President even listed several of those persons including Major General Joe Singh and Colonel Chabilall Ramsaroop, among others.
Moreover, Granger went on to say that he will not overlook qualified Army officers because of their association with the military.
“I don’t discriminate against them and obviously Mr Jagdeo and Mr Ramotar didn’t discriminate against them because I inherited a large number of former military officers who have been appointed by the PPP Administration,” he stated.
The President went on to say, “I don’t see that anything could be wrong with asking a Colonel here or a Brigadier here to do a Commission of Inquiry. The question is; are they competent to do it… there is an old saying it doesn’t matter if it’s a black cat or a white cat, if it catches the rats, it’s a good cat,” the Head of State remarked.
Only last week, General Secretary of the PPP Clement Rohee, said the party continues to have growing concerns over the militarisation of the State and Government apparatus in Guyana, by the coalition Administration.
“This tendency is increasingly manifesting itself under the Granger Administration, coupled with this development, is the steady but rapid progression of our country in the direction of a “Police State”. This dangerous and unwelcomed development has its historical antecedents in the Burnham era of which Mr Granger is a product,” Rohee stated.