NJAC hits back at Rowley criticism
The National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) yesterday responded to criticisms by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley who spoke last week on their silence about Government's initial $1 million offer for Emancipation celebrations this year.
In a statement, NJAC said it was not criticised for its silence in 2008 when the People's National Movement (PNM) offered them nothing.
"In fact we have in our possession a copy of a letter dated 28th July, 2008 from former prime minister Patrick Manning, indicating that his government could not give us any funding. He stated that the PNM government in giving support to the Emancipation Day celebrations did so largely through the medium of the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC)," the group said.
Last Wednesday at a PNM political meeting in Laventille Rowley said Chief Servant Makandal Daaga, political leader of NJAC, was silent on Government's initial offer because his mouth was full from "eating ah food" in the Government.
The offer was subsequently raised to $4 million and was accepted by the ESC.
The Emancipation Village opened on Friday night.
"Over all those years NJAC has never gone public to complain about anything regarding funding for Emancipation Day activities. We kept on doing what we could, within the context of our circumstances," NJAC said.
NJAC said Rowley's "eat ah food" criticism was an attempt to "weaken the People's Partnership" coalition. NJAC also said that Rowley and other "PNM-ites" were "pushing talk" that Daaga was too busy eating in the Government to stand up for the ESC.
"Over the years NJAC has sought to carry out Emancipation activities, extending it to communities in keeping with its concept that communities should be involved in Emancipation activities," the release said.
"It is also shameless of Dr Rowley to state that Makandal Daaga has not done or has not been doing anything for Laventille," the party said.
"Makandal Daaga has never asked for a safe seat or anything for himself. He stood steadfast in Laventille, where he still resides, win, lose or draw, in the interest of the people of Laventille and the nation," they said.
They questioned which political party had represented Laventille over the past 50 years.
"Which party has Parliamentary representatives for Laventille at present? It seems as though Dr Rowley is dismissing his party and its representatives for Laventille and has given full authority and responsibility for Laventille to Makandal Daaga and NJAC," the party said.