The demolition of several homes last evening at Hill Foot on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway has caught the attention of many opposition members who up to this morning, sought to blame the government for this incident. PPP General Secretary, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during his weekly press conference set the record straight on the matter as he noted that it stems from private action.
Jagdeo said, “The government has absolutely nothing to do with it. I saw APNU again blaming the government. They’re protesting and removing people from the land… the government of Guyana has nothing to do with that. We are trying to find out what happened there and look into the matter.”
While the demolition is not the state’s doing, Jagdeo said government plans to intervene in the matter in an effort to arrive an amicable solution. “We don’t know if there was a warrant by the court to remove these people and if it’s private property. We need to find out if the police were involved pursuant to the warrant but given our approach in removing people, the police will have to explain their own involvement in this matter,” he said.
Meanwhile earlier today, residents of the area staged a protest expressing their outrage following last evening’s demolishing exercise. Many who gathered on the highway, expressed the view that the demolition was done without proper notice. The angry residents blocked the road with a number of lit pieces of wood. The fire service, along with the police, removed the debris from the road.
Several residents were reportedly arrested after a fight broke out with police.
During its press conference this morning, the opposition condemned the action at Hill Foot and even blamed the administration for the demolition of the houses. Executive Member and Economic Advisor for the Opposition, Elson Lowe even accused the administration of using the police force against the residents of the district.
“The Opposition wishes to condemn the PPP’s use of the Guyana Police Force against its opponents and to enforce the wishes of the wealthy at the expense of the people in poverty… the demolition is another manifestation that the PPP government does not care for the people of Guyana,” Lowe said.
Last evening, several houses, reportedly built on squatting lands, were demolished. Several residents flocked to save what they could from their homes, while others were only notified by calls from neighbours. Guyana Standard understands that the land is privately owned.