“Put Guyana first” – CIOG urges politicians

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Pressure continues to mount against the Coalition Government as Guyana is now less than a week away from a potential crisis, with calls pouring in this time from the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) for responsible politics to be practised.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the religious organisation noted that the country is on the precipice of an economic metamorphosis unparalleled in its history, and as such reminded all across the political divide of the Prophetic Narration, which states: “Every one of you is a shepherd, and every one of you will be questioned about those under his rule: the ruler is a shepherd, and he will be questioned about his subjects; the man is a shepherd in his family, and he will be questioned about those under his care; and the woman is a shepherd in the house of her husband, and she will be questioned about those under her care… Thus, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for those under his care.” (Al-Bukhari)

Against this backdrop, the CIOG calls on the country’s political leaders to exercise “restraint and to practise responsible politics,” pointing out that Guyana is under the care of the political leaders and they need to safeguard the nation, including its people and resources.

It noted that Islam places great emphasis on the dignity of human beings, regardless of their gender or race or status. The Quraan says: “We have bestowed dignity on the children of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.” (Quran 17:70)

As such, the religious organisation outlined, dignity comprises rights and implies duties. Human beings have a right to life, right to freedom of religion, right to freedom of lifestyle, right to labour, right to security, and right to family; these rights are secured. It added, too, that the Quran says that all human beings are created equal by the One Creator, and are all shepherds of their families, communities, and country.

“A momentous opportunity has been provided for our politicians (and their followers) to behave responsibly, with morality, dignity and integrity; to be the guardians of honour and truth and right; to communicate with respect and in good faith. In so doing, they will demonstrate that they have put Guyana first, and have raised the standard of political discourse in our country and set an example for the entire world and generations to come. Let us cooperate, unite, love, and respect. This is the teaching of Islam,” the CIOG implored.

Immediately after the no-confidence motion was passed on December 21, 2018, both President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had initially committed to following the provisions outlined in the Constitution, facilitating early elections and engaging in dialogue with Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo; but they have since changed their position.

Nevertheless, in less than one week, the constitutional deadline for holding elections will expire, throwing the country into uncharted waters. Some experienced political analysts, including distinguished lawyers, have predicted that the country will head into a constitutional crisis if Government does not uphold the law and call elections.

But President Granger has been insisting that he has to be guided by readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) before he goes ahead and set a date for elections.

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