Several arms of the United National Congress (UNC) have condemned Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for using the term “jammettery” in reference to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s expose on the alleged “fake oil” corruption at Petrotrin.
Among them, UNC Chairman and Pointe-a-Pierre Member of Parliament David Lee, questioned why the Prime Minister constantly degraded women as he (Lee) called on the country to unite and condemn the statement.
“Why would a leader, who is supposed to promote respect towards women, look to degrade a female leader who has contributed so much to our national development?” Lee asked.
He said the language is unbecoming of a person who holds high office.
“More so, it reflects that the Government has been caught red-handed and they have no plausible answer to these accusations hence they result in name calling.”
He defended his leader, whom he said was only doing her duty, as a concerned citizen, by informing the population about the millions of taxpayers’ dollars being wasted.
Condemnation of Rowley’s statements made during the post-Cabinet news conference on Thursday, also came from Lee’s colleague, Dr Tim Gopeesingh.
In a release from his Caroni East constituency, Gopeesingh said he joined with all right thinking and conscientious citizens in expressing his abhorrence to what he termed, “the new low to which the PM has taken national governance.”
“Dr Rowley’s crass and vulgar statements during his comments on the ‘fake oil’ fiasco once more showcases someone ‘completely out of control’, as previously defined by then-Prime Minister Patrick Manning. In addition, Dr Rowley has contaminated the enquiry into the oil scam, since he has made it clear to all – including the investigators – that the accused is his personal and special friend. It is obvious that the Prime Minister does not intend to facilitate a full and independent investigation into this scam, in the same way that he has sidestepped the “ferry fiasco.”
Persad-Bissessar’s former Cabinet colleague, Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan also weighed in on the issue, calling on the PM to apologise to Persad Bissessar .
“While I strongly denounce the utter disrespect and insensitivity reflected in the Prime Minister’s reference to the Opposition Leader, I remain hopeful that there is still the possibility of a positive outcome. I call upon Dr Rowley to take full responsibility for his faux paux and show remorse in an apology to Mrs Bissessar. “
Seepersad-Bachan, who is also running for leadership of the Congress of the People (COP) also called on the government and the opposition to support them in a proposal to adopt the word “Respect” as one of the national watch words, to replace tolerance.
“Through respect, we learn to appreciate people of all genders, ethnicities and cultures. Let it be a seminal value that will inform our initiatives for the elimination of crime and the current ills plaguing our society,” the former San Fernando West MP said.