… visitor complains of poor seating arrangementsA public debate has erupted over the “walkout” executed by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentary Opposition at the momentous 50th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising ceremony over the infamous unavailability of seats, and it appears that there were other special invitees who were greeted with the same catastrophe.According to a viral post on social media, the momentous night was marred with confusion as ushers were running around helter-skelter, trying to locate available seats to place special invited guests as they arrived for the ceremony.After experiencing over 20 minutes of this turmoil, the PPP/C Members of Parliament disappointedly left the celebrations, and some immediately took to social media to vent annoyance.Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry in her public apology insinuated that the PPP/C Members ought to be blamed for the outcome of the situation, insisting that though other spectators were giving up their seats, the Opposition seemed firm in wanting to leave.While some social media users are arguing that the PPP/C behaved rather petty, others are asserting that the organisers must take responsibility for the calamitous seating arrangements.Weighing in on the trending deliberations, a Canadian-based Guyanese identified as Yolande Anne Gittens on Facebook, shared her perspective on what occurred during the ceremony.Gittens explained that she belonged to a party of nine with the exact VIP tickets however, Minister Henry, who took up the mantle to oversee the entrances, directed only four of the group to proceed up the stairs and then instructed an usher to escort the remainder to the bleachers.Gittens expressed that her colleagues were naturally confused, pointing out that the situation was only resolved following a confrontation.“Confused at our apparent relegation, we milled around unsure of how to proceed, but certain that we weren’t going to go where we were being herded off to like cattle. A standoff at the OK Corral was brewing. Thankfully, it was circumvented by the intervention of the Colonel. We re-joined the rest of our party, and settled in to witness a significant and historic moment in our beloved Guyana’s nationhood,” the post read.However, Gittens and company were completely dumbfounded over the choice of attire by those who were allowed to be seated in the “VIP area”.“Get-ups and they can only really be described as such, ranged from shorts, armless vests and sneakers to a backless fuchsia top with the entire back of a black and white polka dot bra fully exposed. We will not discuss the malodorous smells emitting from some of them. There were rubber slippers, and sneakers a plenty. There was a young man who appeared to be of unsound mind pacing back and forth. This was mentioned to an usher in order for her to get security, unfortunately this did not change anything,” she lamented.From there, Gittens reported that things went rapidly downhill with chaos reigning over the seating arrangements for other special invitees.“An usher came with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, and was worrying about where she was going to seat him. Eventually, he was seated in the area reserved for the Joint Services. What was even more appalling was the fact that no seating appeared to have been reserved for recipients of National Awards. One such person received a pass for her vehicle and was able to park in the stadium, but when she was ushered to the bleachers, there were no seats.She was forced to stand on the tarmac for the entire ceremony. Dr Vibert Cambridge, a recipient, also had no assigned seat. He was eventually given a seat meant for someone else,” she related in her observation.According to Gittens, the blooper of the night came when the Opposition Members were left standing among the crowd because there was no reserved seating—for the Opposition.“There is just no excuse whatsoever for that misstep. I’ve heard all sorts of explanations. Those range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Excuses included the Opposition wasn’t interested in the events; to it’s a learning curve (we had 50 years to get it right); to the minister was set up by a man (name given) who said that seats were reserved for the opposition; to clerks in her office illegally printed tickets. In this vein, reports are that 1500 tickets were distributed and there were only 500 seats. Excuses aside, as the person responsible for the event, don’t you personally ensure that for that section at least everything is as it should be? I hold no brief for the PPP, but the lack of seating is wholly unacceptable,” Gittens unreservedly expressed.She continued, “So too were former heads of the Guyana Defence Force randomly seated in different areas. When enquires were made of the ushers as to whether they had had a rehearsal, I was told no, there was only a briefing that morning. Further, we weren’t given any programmes on arrival, and when we enquired of an usher, we were blithely informed that there were only 30 for the government ministers. About 45 minutes later, programmes magically appeared.”The Guyanese who returned to take part in her homeland’s jubilee celebrations also said she was far from impressed at the performances that night.“Simply put, there was no wow factor or substance befitting such an occasion. The dancing children, as well as the military and police marching bands put their best feet forward. However, there was no imagination put into the programme. This was the perfect opportunity to showcase Guyana from then to now. So much more could’ve been done. I dare say that the Bishops’ High School culture day held earlier, had a more organised, entertaining, and better thought out show. So much more could’ve been done,” her post further stated.In closing, the disappointed spectator posited that the buck stops at Minister Henry, and in this regard, she said a sincere apology is warranted.