Last update: 05-Dec-2013 8:03 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Moodie on Nido reassignment: I will not be silenced
Leader of the Highway Action Committee Edward Moodie says he will not be silenced even though his employer, the National Infrastructural Development Company (Nidco), has relieved him of his duties as a liaison for the South Oropouche residents who will be affected by the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension.
Moodie, a community outreach consultant with Nidco, made the comment yesterday, after he met with his employers to discuss his new job at the proposed San Fernando to Princes Town highway, another phase of the highway project which has not yet been started. He was reassigned to the San Fernando to Princes Town highway phase on Thursday.
Yesterday, however, he admitted to being confused about whether he could say much to the media in future, since part of his new contract stated that his work must be kept highly confidential. “I don’t know if I can tell you anything because one of the clauses is that it is highly confidential and I feel if you print anything, they will have an avenue to say ‘Moodie breached confidentiality so we will have to fire you,’” he said.
Despite accepting the new position, Moodie insisted it was in effect a gag order by Nidco after he led Monday’s protest by residents of south Trinidad who are affected by the construction of the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway. Residents of Debe, South Oropouche and Mon Desir claimed Nidco was offering unfair compensation for their property and threatened that if they refused sign an agreement, their homes would be broken down without warning.
“At the end of the day, it is just a strategy to keep me busy and keep me away from the people,” Moodie said yesterday. He said he was given two weeks to complete his new project, but noted he felt it would actually take between three and six months to be completed. He said he did not know what resources were being allocated to him, but said he was not interested in the project while there was much work to be done on the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway.
Saying that Nidco was aware of the level of work being done in the communities, he said their real intention was to get him out of the area. “I will continue to stand with the people and will continue to do what I have been doing. After all, I am the president of the Debe to Mon Desir Highway Action Committee,” he said. “I was asked basically to do a proposal for some social services along the new highway to Princes Town. One must bear in mind that we have so many problems on this highway.
“It is hard to understand why a stakeholder like me, they will want to move me right now, away from the issue when we can even sit and solve it in a few days’ time.” Moodie said residents would continue to hold off protest actions as they await word from Works and Infrastructure Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan and Nidco officials, on when a meeting would be held with residents to discuss the current impasse.
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