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Min. Parag blocked from meeting Belladrum youths to discuss employment opportunities

Min. Parag blocked from meeting Belladrum youths to discuss employment opportunities

APNU+AFC Member of Parliament Vinceroy Jordan and some of the CDC members who prevented Minister Parag and the young people access to the building on Tuesday

A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance for Change Member of Parliament Vinceroy Jordan and a group of elderly residents from Belladrum, Region Five literally shut the door on an initiative by Central Government to roll out several developmental and skills training plans for the young people in the community of Belladrum.

“We don’t want development here and we certainly do not need it from you and your government” Vinceroy stated.  However, after some persons from the community who were present at the location objected to his comments, he then reworded his statement by saying, “let me say this; development is welcome but it must be done through a particular channel and that is the functioning NDC” 

Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag visited the community after the young people in Belladrum interacted with President Irfaan Ali three weeks ago during an impromptu stop in the community. There, the young people asked President Ali to help them with job opportunities, skills training, activities for the school dropouts, and sporting facilities, all aimed at keeping the young people gainfully occupied.

The President then instructed Minister Parag to work with the community in identifying the specific activities in the respective areas that they feel will benefit the community and the youths.

When the Minister showed up on Tuesday for a meeting with the young people and other residents, she and the young people were blocked from entering a Community Development Council building which was built for the community with financial assistance from the Central Government.

It would be the second time in nine days that the Minister was blocked from meeting with the young people in the building. Last week when she entered the community, the same group of elderly persons who sit on the CDC group that manages the building, refused to grant access to the building, stating that the young people from the community were not given permission to use the facility for any meeting with the government official.

On Tuesday, when this publication asked the Chairman of the CDC on what grounds was Minister Parag being denied access to the facility, the CDC Chairman said that the facility was vandalized two weeks ago and the CDC members need to conduct an audit of the building and its contents before access can be granted to anyone.

Questioned further, he said that the police were not informed of the vandalism and explained that they did not report the matter to the police as he, the chairman, felt that the vandalism was politically motivated. When this Publication sought to get clarity on when the audit of the building and contents will be done so that the building can be ready for use by the residents, the CDC chairman said they are not sure as all the members are busy.

It was at that point that Minister Parag asked if the development of the young people will be indefinitely held up when Member of parliament Vinceroy Jordan commented, “She bet ah get out of here before we call out the whole a Belladrum because yall know how we does do it”

One resident said that the CDC chairman was being dishonest in his comments about the vandalism as it was last year that the facility was vandalized. The resident further stated that following that incident, a report was made to the police at Weldaad and a group of young people from Mahaica were caught with items from the facility. Those items, the gentleman related, were lodged with the police.

Another resident accused the APNU+AFC member of Parliament Vinceroy Jordan of placing politics ahead of the development of a community that needs development. The resident questioned the logic in the move to prevent the community from accessing development as he likened Jordan’s politics to dolly-house politics, making reference to his refusal to shake the hands of President Irfaan Ali during an Emancipation Celebration in Berbice back in August of this year.

“This is not what we want to see in our leaders, disagree when they don’t want to help us but when they come to help us, allow them to help us” one young lady could be heard saying in the background during the back and forth between the MP and the Minster’s team.