Guyana’s young and restless President, HE Dr Mohammed Irfaan Ali, has become a global-trotter, spanning continents; crossing seas and oceans; flying over forests, deserts and mountains; and visiting lands far and near.
Possessing a bold and beautiful personality, he is meeting people of all races, religions, genders, colours nationally, regionally and internationally. Braving all weathers and climatic conditions, shunning pride and prejudice, he presents himself as a simple, humble and friendly representative of a thriving and striving nation of potential wealth from her natural resources and agricultural products.
As the world turns to accept, embrace and welcome him, his audiences listen to his powerful speeches, words of sincerity, and his inspired messages. His charismatic flamboyance attracts the crowd to catapult him in the limelight, and usher him in the front seat without reservation or hesitation.
The memories from his recent visits are still fresh and akin to “A Man for all Seasons.” His visits include: London Caribbean Council’s House of Lord’s Annual Reception; Guyana Festival Committee’s Dinner in Toronto; The Ninth Summit of Americas in California; Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda; Suriname Energy, Oil and Gas Summit and Exhibition; AGROFEST’22 in Barbados, and the 43rd Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom in Suriname.
Dr Ali knows no fear, and the word “failure” does not exist in his vocabulary. Knowing that optimism lies in his positive approach, he is determined to market his people, country and products for their highest values. His admirable popularity is the window to the world which easily allows him to win friends and influence people, and all doors are automatically opened to meet and greet him with open arms and extend the hand of friendship.
The world is growing to respect President Ali for his dynamic leadership, his energetic enthusiasm, and his integrity to be an honest, frank and fair speaker. His Excellency does not cower behind cloaked costumes, hide behind hidden agendas, issue veiled threats, speak with a forked tongue, mislead with crafty and cloudy words, pollute the atmosphere with uneasiness, make unrealistic demands; nor does he ask unreasonable questions.
He was well received last year at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland and also at EXPO 2020 in Dubai. At the UN General Assembly in NY Sept’21 (UNGA76), he revealed to interviewers that Guyana would be receiving high-level visits from Kenya, Colombia, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Latin America, the Caribbean, EU and Asia, all of which materialised.
Prior to this visit, he was also in Mexico for the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit.
President Irfaan Ali recognises that Guyana is going through a period of growing pains, and has many obstacles and hurdles to overcome internally and externally. His job is no piece of cake, and does not come with a written manual. Being the chauffeur at the wheel, it is far from driving any Miss Daisy on a quiet Sunday afternoon. From the inception, heavy traffic prevailed at the time of swearing in to office, and he and his ministers were cognisant of the many problems the country and people were taxed with. That neither daunted nor deterred him, but made him more determined to create a pathway to clear all impediments blocking the road to progress and prosperity.
There is little room for errors and mistakes, and he is daily challenged by critics who are hunting to find faults to discredit him and punch holes in his bag. Not surprisingly, His Excellency has been involved personally, along with members of his cabinet, on outreach programmes to all the 10 Regions, meeting and greeting Guyanese from all sectors of the community, listening and learning, advising, making suggestions and recommendations, and solving problems on the spot.
He has initiated a number of cash grants to all qualified stakeholders who have been affected by economics, politics, and nature via financial constraints: compensation for the fired sugar workers during the Granger regime; flood relief; school relief; medical relief; dialysis and handicapped farmers’ relief; COVID-19 packages; business start-ups; unemployment relief; easy bank loans for house construction, etc.
It is not by luck and chance that he is not above the law, but by sheer diligence, and not negligence, President Mohammed Ali is guided by established rules and regulations, protocols of precedence, the Constitution and mandatory guidelines. He is not a one-man show, as evidenced from previous dictators, but he refers to his advisors for proper counselling, guidance and advice.
The sound of music is muffled by the constant cry from antagonists and protagonists, bellowing a bugle of tuneless melodies and out of sync with rhythms and beats. He hears those sour notes, and does not ignore the lesson to improvise while fine-tuning the instrument to produce sweet, simple and soft notes. There is always a bending curve, and His Excellency flexes time out to learn and listen, and to reconfigure any compromising approach to appease the satisfied customer and consumer.
There is the borderline which determines the line of demarcation between reality and fantasy, and he does not hesitate to quickly install that fence. He is the first to always shake hands! The Honourable President makes it his duty to visit those involved in accidents, fire victims, crime scenes, wake-houses, weddings, sports activities, religious functions, and can be seen at charitable events and fund-raising activities. His hands are involved in numerous clean-up campaigns, and when he makes a promise, he delivers.
This is no country for old men, and so his cabinet vibrates with the power of youths, ready, willing, able and capable to handle the future of the young generation, this nation, and the opportunity of providing a “One Guyana” with all the amenities and necessities to make Guyana the potential economy to be one of the world’s richest nations per capita.
Under President Ali’s leadership, the infrastructure of this country is quickly and vastly taking the shape of a new face, with numerous projects unfolding daily, new businesses opening, and visitors and investors flocking this land. He toys with an Opposition which lacks integrity, maturity and sobriety.
President Irfaan Ali lives, breathes and works for Guyana and Guyanese; and thus deserves no rotten tomatoes, but only fresh tomatoes.