GS Jagdeo questions IDPADA-G’s credibility

The credibility of the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G) has come under question by the General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, also Vice President of the ruling party.

The General Secretary noted that the credibility of IDPADA-G is not a new question and he called attention to a publication by Demerara Waves from 2018, which was headlined ‘International Decade of People of African Descent-Guyana must be scrapped, replaced’.

General Secretary of the PPP, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The article, published in June 10, 2028, said: “Representatives of several African groups from across Guyana on Sunday agreed by majority to call for the country coordinating mechanism for the Decade for People of African descent to be scrapped and a new body established over concerns about its formation and decision-making. When the vote was taken, 36 persons showed their hands for the mechanism officially named the International Decade of People of African Descent – Guyana (IDPAD-G) to be dismantled and 16 persons voted for it to be repaired instead of restarting from scratch.

“…Barrington Braithwhaite of the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) said IDPAD-G Chairman, Vincent Alexander boycotted Sunday’s meeting despite several overtures made to him.

“…At a meeting held at Critchlow Labour College (CLC), representatives expressed concern about Olive Simpson’s appointment as IDPAD-G’s Chief Executive Officer. Member of the existing Coordinating Council, Esther Gittens noted that the newspaper advertisement for the post of CEO was deliberately very small and there were no criteria and evaluation sheets for the job interview of the three applicants. She noted that IPADA-G was stacked with mostly Cuffy250 members that also saw Dr. Mark Kirton and Dr. Norman Ng-a-Qui being drafted in to serve the national coordinating mechanism.

“Dr. Eric Phillips of the Reparations Committee added that half of the groups under IPADA-G’s assembly were formed last year on the basis that they would be offered projects.”

Recently, a representative of IDPADA-G made spurious allegations of institutionalised racial discrimination against the government at the 3rd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Peoples of African Descent in Geneva, Switzerland.


Dr Jagdeo was also swift to point out that persons who felt they were victims of discrimination have never made a formal complaint to the legally constituted Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC).

This was also confirmed by ERC’s Commissioner (ERC) Neaz Subhan who also participated in a thematic discussion on Culture and Recognition at the 3rd Session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.

“If you think there are so many cases of discrimination, you can use this [ERC]…they can’t do that because they don’t have evidence of institutionalised racism in the government,” he informed reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

Dr Jagdeo added, “In fact, if you look at it, you will see attempts to fight racism by this government and party and that they’re [PNC] the only racist party.”

The general secretary pointed out that they can only go to international forums like the UN to spread misinformation to those unsuspecting of what truly transpires in Guyana without bearing any consequences.

Dr Jagdeo believes that this is part of the opposition’s propaganda arm that will be used as a tool to gain political points.

“They go there and complain discrimination because it can’t resonate here but there is a mechanism that we set up, that if people feel aggrieved, they can use the mechanism [ERC]…,” he lamented. 

Dr Jagdeo emphasised that the only party that has a track record of advancing development and providing opportunities to a wide cross-section of society.

The ERC is a constitutional body with a 24-point mandate to foster social harmony and promote and respect ethnic, cultural and religious diversity. It is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean region, whose mandate provides for it to investigate complaints of racial discrimination and marginalization.

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