Gillian Wall, co-founder of Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT), a non-governmental organisation, said yesterday a formal apology will be sent to President Paula-Mae Weekes and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for her faux pas alleging that the former refused to swear in former sport minister Darryl Smith as a minister in the Ministry of Housing.
In a social media post, Wall drew the ire of a number of people, including the President, who, in a statement, said the claim made by Wall was not true.
The President also took the opportunity to inform the public how cabinet ministers are appointed according to the TT constitution.
During PLOTT’s Sports and Family Day held at St Mary’s Grounds, yesterday, Wall said she intends to apologise to President Weekes and Rowley.
“I need to, and I have been doing it, humbly apologise for any distress caused to the President and to the Prime Minister, our network members, and the members of the public who were very distressed.”
She added that a lot of the country actually thought the organisation was attacking the PM or the President, but that that was not so.
“It was solely on account of my exuberance to celebrate the President, in light of information we received like many others, but failed to verify.”
“Issuing the press release while in exuberance and with positive intent was hasty and irresponsible and I have accepted full responsibility for this, in writing and on air. So we have apologised and what we also need to do is ensure that the apology is written, verbal and delivered in person. So that is also what we are doing.”
Wall said the PLOTT executive met for several hours on Saturday and a further personal, written apology would be sent to both the offices of the PM and the President.
“It is important that we do our part to ensure that trust and confidence is upheld in our nation’s leaders and our institutions. And, we would not, ever, deliberately or consciously, do anything to break that because we understand the job that our leaders have at hand is hard enough. And, we would, without hesitation, apologise for anything that negatively impacts that,” said Wall.
She also felt what the whole uproar provided them with an opportunity to really genuinely reflect and empathise with what the nation’s leaders go through.
“We may be private citizens, we may speak out or share the things that challenge us but our leaders who present themselves in public office are constantly under the kind of attack that we have seen. So it also helps us empathise and be more mindful of how important it is for us to hold back on exuberance ever so often, and check the information very thoroughly.”
Lisa Ghany, a member of the PLOTT executive, told Newsday that following Saturday’s meeting they are putting things in place that will ensure it never happens in the future.