September 30, 2016

Conflict intensifies between Region 9 Chairman and REO

Region 9 Chairman  Bryan Allicock

Region 9 Chairman
Bryan Allicock

BY DEVINA SAMAROO

Chairman of Region Nine (Upper Takatu Upper Essequibo) Bryan Allicock and Regional Executive Officer (REO) Karl Parker continue to disagree on a number of issues within the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

Similar divergences are currently occurring between the Regional Chairmen and Regional Executive Officers in other administrative regions across Guyana.

During a press conference at Freedom House on Monday, Allicock once again vented concerns over the demeanour of the REO, accusing him of attempting to take control of the region instead of performing his administrative duties.

Region 9 REO Karl Parker

Region 9 REO Karl Parker

Allicock also complained of being undermined and disrespected by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition’s candidate, noting that his actions are counterproductive to the development of the region.

Fuel

According to the Regional Chairman, the REO refuses to budget adequate sums of money for the purchase of fuel for him to reach out to the villages.

Allicock said because he is being accused of using the fuel to conduct political work, the REO significantly cut the amount of fuel typically granted to the Regional Chairman.

He is now getting five gallons of fuel per week, which can only cover “three days’ running” in Lethem.

“Up to now, I can’t cover the entire region,” Allicock stated, noting that the villages are far apart and therefore it would require more fuel to travel such distances.

In fact, Allicock accused the REO of using the State resources for the purpose of political work.

Protocols

Allicock also accused the REO of breaching basic protocols.

He alleged that Parker would often visit communities without informing the village councils.

Additionally, he complained that the REO would refuse to inform him of presidential or ministerial visits to the region.

Referring to the recent visit of First Lady Sandra Granger, Allicock said he was completely left in the dark.

“If he refuses to inform me of their visits, how must I know about that visit? The First Lady’s visit I knew nothing about. It was being stated that it was the President’s visit so I called the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs asking the Minister (Sydney Allicock) and he said he does not know anything about that because the President was preparing to go to Ecuador… so I was coming from the bank when I was told that the First Lady was here already distributing boots,” he explained as he responded to critics who chastised him for “boycotting” government events in the region.

“How am I going to be a part of this development if I am not in the loop,” he queried.

Leadership

Allicock also accused the REO of overriding decisions made by the RDC.

He pointed out that the Council had approved monies to be spent on the renovation of the annex building for nurses.

However, he alleged that Parker rushed to workers to finish the building under the pretext that the President would be staying there.

But upon completion, Parker moved into the building which is fully furnished and includes five air-conditioned rooms.

Allicock also accused him of controlling the economic fund of the region and in so doing; he refuses to allocate adequate sums for critical purposes.

In fact, he even accused the REO of withholding salaries from certain staff.

Moreover, Allicock said the REO overtly made attempts to change the signatories for the region’s bank account.

Meanwhile, similar controversies have been brewing in other regions.

In Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), the Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt and REO Rupert Hopkinson are constantly at war with each other.

Hopkinson is currently occupying the State House in the region and is accused of abusing his power and overstepping his boundaries.

In converse, Ramdatt is being accused of attempting to thwart the REO’s efforts of community development.

Over in Region Three (Essequibo Islands /West Demerara), matters escalated to the point where Regional Chairman Julius Faerber threatened to sue REO Dennis Jaikarran for allegedly carrying out duties on his own, without informing or seeking approval from the RDC.

This entire issue spiralled from October of 2015 when Jaikarran slashed Faerber’s fuel allowance by half.

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