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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ramadhar: Warner did not tell Govt the truth
ILP leader Jack Warner while in the People’s Partnership cabinet had said the controversial firetruck which ran off the road, plunging over a 300-foot cliff in Blanchisseuse, was valued at $56 million and he did not tell the truth to the Government, leader of the Congress of the People Prakash Ramadhar said on Wednesday night. “Watch your back with Jack!” Ramadhar added, dubbing Warner a “neemakharam.” Ramadhar spoke about the firetruck issue at PP’s San Juan campaign meeting. He said he had planned to confront Warner on the firetruck scandal at Tuesday’s leaders’ debate which was aborted. The issue was spotlighted this year when it was revealed the state paid $6.8 million to remove the fire truck after it fell over the precipice in November 2011. The water tender from the Arima Fire Station was responding to a report.
Warner, then minister of national security, had defended the payment. Ramadhar, however, said every Cabinet member had taken blame for the firetruck issue when Warner had told the Cabinet the value of the vehicle was $56 million. He warned voters not to trust Warner or PNM leader Keith Rowley, both of whom, he said, had turned on their respective former leaders. Ramadhar said Warner was the PP’s biggest defender until he was not chosen for the Chaguanas West by election. “He turned 180 degrees! He had been attacking me and the COP since 2011—watch your back with Jack! Can you trust a man like this? He was works minister all the time and now he’s blaming his former colleagues for everything. That’s the worst kind of “neemakharam” T&T doesn’t want,” Ramadhar added. “Warner is a watermelon—green on the outside, but PNM inside. He’s working hard for his partner Rowley,” he added.
Ramadhar said he had planned at the leaders’ debate to confront Rowley at the Section 34 issue since PNM members had voted for it in Parliament. Ramadhar said Rowley was an angry, vindictive, spiteful man though the PNM was trying to polish up his image: “Where’s PNM getting the money for this and its ads ...who’s paying for it?” he asked. Ramadhar said the PNM had alway been a friend of “big business” and had not proclaimed the Fair Trade Act to curtail groups from hiking prices. He said Government would implement the act to ensure fair prices. Ramadhar said Rowley split the PNM 2010 after being fired and had helped the PP win office. He said MSJ leader David Abdulah had asked him to leave the People’s Partnership when MSJ left but he did not want to destabilise the Government. Also on PP’s platform was former T&T Guardian graphic artist Kevan Gibbs, who testified to the value of the On the Job Training (OJT) programme.
Gibbs, a member of the COP, who was introduced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, explained how OJT changed his life and he got jobs at the Express and the T&T Guardian.
The PM also welcomed sportsman Dwayne Bravo at the meeting.
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