Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kamla: Rowley distorting LifeSport issue to score points

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has dismissed claims by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley that the LifeSport programme is being used to score political points with criminals along the East-West Corridor.

The PM said Rowley’s claims were “another calculated and underhanded attempt” to mislead the population. For this reason, he should not be trusted and, together with his party, the People’s National Movement (PNM), was a “very dangerous threat to our country”.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday, Persad-Bissessar called on Rowley to “stop using distortions of facts to fix his poor credibility ratings and failed leadership of his party”.

On Tuesday night, Rowley, addressing a PNM rally in Arima, said: “That LifeSport cancer that grew like a mushroom overnight was not accidental. It was a deliberate plan by the UNC to fund criminal conduct in the East-West Corridor with the (general) election in mind. And the plan fell apart with the killing of Dana Seetahal.

“Because, you see, with the killing of Dana Seetahal, the shock to the country, and the shock to the agencies of security, has put the spotlight on a programme that the Prime Minister was turning her face from.”

Persad-Bissessar responded: “The fact that an audit has been mandated for the LifeSport programme is enough to make Dr Rowley’s deceptive claim baseless and without merit. In fact, these claims point to confusion in his mind. His allegations are a complete distortion.

“It is even more irresponsible to attempt to deliberately mislead the public in his attempts to fix the very serious credibility problem suffered by himself and his Opposition party.”

Persad-Bissessar said the PNM was responsible for the high crime rate her Government was now trying to lower.

She said: “This brazen and pitiful attempt to re-write history and cast the blame elsewhere makes clear that Rowley has no intention of fixing the party, but rather inflicting the same failed PNM on our country again.

“Dr Rowley is finding it difficult to provide any credible defence for the PNM’s tenure and is now fabricating lies to blame others for his party’s failures. Such deliberate distortion damages whatever credibility Rowley has left and demonstrates that in order to get the public’s attention he would do, say and promise anything, regardless of whether it is the truth,” said Persad-Bissessar.