Warner to constituents: I will never betray the Prime Minister or the UNC
Chaguanas West Member of Parliament Jack Warner addressed his constituents at a meeting at the Pierre Road Recreation Ground in Charlieville on Thursday night, as he sought to clear the air on his recent resignation as National Security Minister and chairman of the United National Congress (UNC).
Warner told the audience that he remains loyal to the UNC but he intends to tender his resignation as Chaguanas West MP and contest the subsequent bye-election as a UNC candidate.
Following is the content of his full address:
My dear constituents and the rest of the national community, tonight has been a very sad night for me as I am sure it has been for all of you.
But how did we arrive at this stage?
Why is it that the very party and Government of which all of us have been so proud these past thirty-five (35) months have moved from being a beacon of hope to a dungeon of despair!!!!!!
The one consolation in all of this is that tonight is just a fleeting moment in time and this too shall pass.
My dear constituents, for the past two decades, I have been the target of various kinds of attacks. I have been targeted. My family has been targeted. My friends have been targeted. My detractors have said every dirty thing under the sun about Jack Warner. But in all of that you have kept the faith in me. And for that I thank you. I thank you for trusting me and for the confidence you have shown by your very presence here tonight. Mark my words when I tell you that Jack Warner has never betrayed you and I will never betray your trust.
The Holy Bible says there is a time for everything under the sun; a time to sow and a time to reap; a time to be silent and a time to speak. The world of international sports politics is not a simple one. It is an arena of extremely high stakes. The remuneration packages and the perks of those jobs can be very attractive. And therefore at times the rivalry can become very intense among those lured by the trappings of office and the craving for power.
It is against this background that I have found myself a keenly pursued target. And just as in any all-fours game, how smartly you play the few pieces of trump in your hand can determine whether you win or lose.
And therefore for 20 years while I have been hounded and persecuted, I have held on to my pieces of trump; waiting for the right time to speak. Because I knew that if I spoke too soon the broader objectives that would impact positively on the football in the Caribbean, the poorer nations in the various Confederations and throughout the world could be lost.
But when I see the pain that you are going through these last few days, I have decided that I owe it to you to put your hearts at rest. I owe it to you, my dear constituents; and therefore tonight I will answer the questions that they have been asked for the last 20 years.
And I will say once again, that in no point in time did I ever try to hide these facts. I will show you that these facts have always been in the public domain. The people who have been asking the questions have always had the answers. And in some cases the truth has been a matter of public record and easily accessible to anyone interested in the truth.
Before I go forward, let me say to you that in spite of the trials, tribulations and disappointments that I have incurred; in spite of the character assassination, the slander, the ridicule of my family and the abandonment of long-time friends – in spite of the hurt, in spite of the indignities I have experienced, I stand here tonight void of hatred, animosity or ill will for my Political Leader, my party your party our party, the United National Congress or the People’s Partnership Government.
And before I continue let me place on record for those who have other ideas that I have no intention to leave the United National Congress and I have no intentions of ever being disloyal to my Political Leader and Prime Minister.
By extension therefore I have no intention tonight or any other time for that matter of betraying the People’s Partnership Government for which there is no other sober attractive alternative even at this point in time.
But while my trust and faith in our party and Government is solid as a rock, I can’t say the same about some individuals in our party and in our Government as few as they are.
I stand here tonight, as a Member of the United National Congress, the party that still is the best option for governing the people of Trinidad and Tobago. And I come to deliver the truth with cold hard facts.
When I opened my office at Charlieville in 2006 using my own resources and even before I was elected as a representative for Chaguanas West, my goals and aspirations were to improve the lives of the people living in Chaguanas West.
I said I would never use politics to enrich my wealth or fatten my bank accounts. And I have kept my word. Every day and every month for the last five-and-a-half years I have kept my word to you.
I have never taken my salary as the MP. I take one dollar from it for myself each month and I give the rest away to charity and social causes.
This is my second term as the MP for Chaguanas West and I have never bought a tax-free car – even though it is my legal entitlement.
I promised you on the campaign trail that when we get into government I would not do any foreign travel at the State’s expense. And for the last three consecutive years, of which I have been a government minister, I have never travelled for the government except once when in January 2011, I went to Jamaica with my Permanent Secretary and other members of staff from the Ministry of Works and Transport for the signing of the documents for the merger of Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica. For that trip, I paid all my expenses including my air travel and accommodation, and I also paid the expenses for my staff.
In fact, not only did I pay my own way to Jamaica. While I was in Jamaica I visited the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School in Kingston and I made a pledge to donate $0.5 million Jamaican dollars to the school annually for five years; a promise which I have kept.
I have never spent any of the Entertainment Allowance allocated to a Minister nor have I ever allowed the State to pay my phone bills whether they are mobile or landlines. So in a word, I have not been a burden on the State and the Treasury of Trinidad and Tobago. I have kept my word. My hands are clean.
Yet for all my good intentions and for everything right and upstanding that I have done, there exists an unholy alliance hounding me in office, trying to drive me out of office and trying to destroy me.
The fact is that since I became a Member of Parliament, and more so the instant I became a government minister, I have been constantly attacked and harassed by Keith Rowley and the PNM.
The minute I was sworn in as a Government minister, Rowley said that as Vice President of FIFA I should not be allowed to hold a Cabinet post. And that, of course, caused some anxieties until it was finally resolved in my favour. But it was a distraction to the government and the nation. Any other country would have been proud to have a Vice President of FIFA in its midst, not so however for Rowley and his P.N.M.!!!!
And so Rowley and the PNM have been going after me every Monday morning, aided and abetted by persons local and abroad, persons who are both inside and outside my party and government and persons who are self-professed enemies of Jack Warner.
My dear constituents, I tell you that on no less than 37 occasions to date, the last one being last Saturday, they have called for my head – resign or be fired!
On 13 of those occasions the call has come from no less than Rowley whom I will deal with tonight. And on seven occasions it is the insignificant and irrelevant Fitzgerald Hinds whom for tonight only I shall justly dismiss.
The question that now faces us tonight my constituents, is what is the basis for all these attacks?
Constituents, Ladies and gentlemen, this has nothing to do with Trinidad and Tobago’s politics. This has nothing to do with Jack Warner’s stewardship in Government. This has nothing to do with anything wrong that I have done or failed to do in my country. This is a strategy crafted by some conspiratorial cowards who see Jack Warner as an obstacle to their ambitions, both at home and abroad.
The Centre of Excellence issue is just a smoke screen; but if that is where they want to end then that is where I will begin tonight.
On April 6, 1990, I was elected President of CONCACAF and I assumed office in July some three months later. This is the only time I can recall that FIFA deferred the installation of a President of any Confederation for three months. Another time I will tell you the reason why.
I became powerful as the CONCACAF President because I was able to increase the membership of the Caribbean Football Union of which I was also President from 1974 to 2011 into a strong fighting unit to the point where the CFU had 28 out of 40 members in the CONCACAF.
As the President of the CFU with 28 out of 40 members in the CONCACAF, I held a position and a level of power, which I never abused.
In fact when I became President of CONCACAF I was given a table, two chairs and $40,000 to work with from the old Administration.
When I resigned from CONCACAF there was some $37 million in the bank, three offices, and unmeasured goodwill. I recall when I first became CONCACAF President for months we could not pay the rent and it was Chuck’s wife who had to pay it for us. I also recall that we could not pay for an audit of the financial records we inherited and it was Kenny Rampersad & Co. who did our audit free of charge for years.
Kenny, wherever you are, I want to sincerely apologise for whatever pain or embarrassment you and your firm are now experiencing for having associated with CONCACAF.
During the period 1992 to 2011, no other President of any Confederation brought more countries to FIFA than I did because I was of the view that to expand the beautiful game of football there was need for a paradigm change where even small territories such as Anguilla and Aruba, BVI and USVI and even the Cayman Islands should be included.
I never had an elitist policy. As President, my goal was to include and embrace every island state.
It is informative to note that the old CONCACAF had refused the Cayman Islands membership three times before I became its President. And when I became President of CONCACAF in 1990, two years later I made Cayman Islands a member of CONCACAF and of FIFA. And today, that very same President of Cayman Islands is the President of CONCACAF, though he may have conveniently forgotten how he came to be there.
You would remember that prior to 1996 Caribbean football teams were the butt of international ridicule. No one took us seriously. They laughed at us. They humiliated us on and off the field. Our teams were beaten 6-nil, 4-nil and 12-nil by Central American and North American countries.
And by 1996 I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided that something had to be done to improve the quality of football in the Caribbean. So I went to Dr Joao Havelange who was the President of FIFA and I asked him for a $6 Million US loan to open a Centre of Excellence in T&T so that I could lift the level of football in the Caribbean and ultimately the CONCACAF. I also decided then that I would use my influence to increase the CONCACAF allocation of slots for the FIFA World Cup from one half of what it was then to three and one half what it is today.
Dr Havelange was very sympathetic to me and to my cause. He agreed to provide me with the loan and he so instructed the then FIFA General Secretary Sepp Blatter on or about 1997 to proceed accordingly. By 1997, I had taken the loan and I bought the premises of Metal Box and Lever Brothers through two companies which I formed and I also bought lands from Tricon.
But having now bought the land there was nothing I could have done in terms of structure and therefore I went back to Dr Havelange and told him first of all I want the loan to be converted into a grant – a donation – and then I would want his help in terms of getting a structure in place.
Dr Havelange’s help to me had not been unusual but I would say more about that later.
So on May 4, 1998, Dr Havelange wrote me and told me that he had found an external solution to convert the loan into a donation. I have here the letter from Dr Havelange and you can follow on the screens as I ask that the letter be now read to you.
Notice the date May 4, 1998.
On May 14, 1998, ten days later, I wrote Dr Havelange, thanking him for the external solution he had found to assist me with the construction of the Centre of Excellence. There is an error in the year of the referenced letter, which should have been 1998 and not 1996. But notwithstanding that, let’s read:
Again, by letter dated May 26, 1998, I wrote to Dr. Havelange thanking him for converting the FIFA loan into a gift to the CFU and Jack Warner.
On May 29, 1998 Dr Havelange responded by letter expressing his thanks.
You may quite rightly ask why all this flurry of letters in the month ofMay 1998.Well I will tell you. Blatter was Havelange’s candidate to succeed him for the FIFA Presidency. Blatter had been at this time the most hated FIFA official. by both the European and African Confederations and without my CONCACAF support at the FIFA elections, Blatter would never have seen the light of day as President of FIFA.
I told Havelange that, through him, Blatter will get CONCACAF’s total support and Bin Hammam also said the same day thing though at the time he did not have Asia’s 100% support as I had with the CONCACAF.
“Votamos como un bloque”, I told my Central American colleagues. In 1997, Havelange came to Antigua for the Shell Umbro Cup and in an invitation meeting at St. James Club, Antigua, again reiterated his request to me. Again I promised him CONCACAF’s total support. Then and there he began to count Blatter’s votes and said that if CONCACAF supported Blatter he will win by thirty votes.
CONCACAF at the time had 30 voting members.
The FIFA Presidential elections were held in Paris on June 8, 1998. I will now ask that the results of that election be read.
51st FIFA Congress in Paris in 1998
After 24 years in office, Havelange decides not to stand for reelection.
The Congress elects Joseph S. Blatter as his successor. Rival Lennart Johansson withdraws after Blatter has gained 111 votes to Johansson’s 80 after the first ballot.
Joao Havelange becomes a FIFA Honorary President.
Joseph S. Blatter, President of soccer’s world international governing body, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), soccer’s world governing body. Mr Blatter was elected at the 51st Ordinary FIFA Congress on 8 June 1998 in Paris, defeating his opponent in the presidential election, Mr Lennart Johansson, by 111:80 votes.
Before being elected FIFA President, Mr Blatter was General Secretary of FIFA. Mr Blatter was appointed to this position in November 1981 after a distinguished career in business and sport, and was Chief Executive Officer since 1990.
Havlange was off by one!!! Blatter had defeated Johanssen by 31 votes.
An interesting development at that Congress was that Haiti was absent and with Blatter’s permission, I got Captain Horace Burrell’s (of Jamaica) girlfriend to vote as the Haitian delegate by saying, “Oui!” when Haiti’s name was called.
In 1998 therefore, I had delivered and since then I emerged the second highest sporting personality in the FIFA.
1. I was placed on 6 out of 11 committees,
2. I was the Chairman of 2 and the Deputy Chairman of 2, one being the prestigious Finance Committee of the FIFA,
3. Trinidad and Tobago was given the seat to host the Under 17 2001 World Cup, and
4. Additional financial assistance was given for the further construction of the Center of Excellence.
I was Blatter’s idol then and he was mine.
Tonight is not the time nor the place to go into when and why that all changed.
Suffice it to say that because of the construction of the Centre of Excellence and the technical work being taught there Jamaica qualified for the World Cup in 1998 and Trinidad and Tobago in 2006.
Because of Blatter’s assistance to the Caribbean Diaspora, for two consecutive years the CFU was able to host in Trnidad and Tobago age group competitions in July and August for the entire Caribbean where we paid for all the countries football youth teams in the Caribbean:
1. Airfare for 23 persons,
2. Hotel accommodation,
3. Internal travel,
4. Out of pocket allowance for players and officials
5. Out of pocket allowance for referees, linesmen and match commissioners.
On account of this for the first time ever in the history of Caribbean football, two Caribbean countries qualified together for a World Cup Under 17 final, this time in South Korea in 2007 – Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago.
So there was no ambiguity. There was no uncertainty. There was no secret in my dealings towards and with Dr Havelange and the Centre of Excellence.
So the Centre of Excellence was built, first by a loan that was given to Jack Warner that was converted into a grant and by further assistance from Dr Havelange after whom I named the Centre.
The original copies of these letters are supposed to be in the possession of CONCACAF.
Were these letters disclosed to the CONCACAF Integrity Committee headed by Sir David Simmons? I don’t know.
Sir David Simmons and his committee in their Integrity Committee report said they based their conclusions on the documents and testimonies that were made available to them. Therefore, if these documents which are in the possession of CONCACAF were never disclosed to the Simmons committee and to the investigators, would you not agree that the conclusions formed by the committee are incorrect and that the committee has been deliberately misled into maligning Jack Warner?
I say tonight that I hold no malice with regard to this matter against Sir David Simmons and his two other committee members because they were deceived if these letters were not disclosed to them.
For 22 years my opponents, both at home and abroad, have dogged me – this young man (at the time) born in Rio Claro, who had at one time lived in Todds Road and Longdenville, where he cut cane, beat rice, dance cocoa and fished for coscorub. This young man, they felt, should not be so powerful.
For 22 years they have dogged me; never have I ever been charged for anything. I grudgingly show these documents to you tonight because it would be wrong of me to let you continue to hurt. So I do it!
And let me remind you that at no point in time have I ever kept the ownership of the Centre of Excellence a secret. As late as July 19 2012 in a press briefing, Ian Prescott from the Express, yes the same Express newspaper did ask me about the Centre of Excellence and I answered him truthfully. What did I say? In an article titled – Did CFU Lie - written by Ian Prescott in the Express of July 19, 2012, among other things I said:
My dear Constituents and members of the national community It is instructive to note the headquarters of the CONCACAF had been located in Guatemala from 1961 when the Confederation was formed.
It was only registered in 1994 in the Bahamas under the Company’s Act. Here is the Certificate of Incorporation from the Bahamas registry.
You will see where it says September 20, 1994. However in 1996 and 1998 when the land was acquired and the Centre of Excellence built, CONCACAF was not even registered as a legal entity in Trinidad and Tobago.
CONCACAF was registered in Trinidad and Tobago as an External Company on October 27, 1999. Here is the Certificate of Incorporation; a government document with the stamp and signature of the Registrar General.
Even when I changed the name of the Centre of Excellence to the Dr. Jaoa Havelange Centre of Excellence, CONCACAF still was not registered in T&T.
And here is the certificate from the Registrar General’s Office to show where the name was changed on February 22, 1999. CONCACAF was registered in Trinidad and Tobago on October 27, 1999.
Up until the year 2000, there is not a single document that suggests that the Centre of Excellence was the property of FIFA or the CONCACAF. How come all of a sudden it is now the property of CONCACAF?
On August 19, 2003, a Valuation Report by Linden Scott & Associates was sent to CONCACAF on the CONCACAF CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE.
Take a look at the cover page of the valuation report.
Why was no question asked then? Don’t answer, I will tell you why. It was because all that time I was Blatter’s idol and he was mine. I was in his good books.
Tonight let me ask you this: FIFA has more lawyers available to it than Trinidad and Tobago put together. If FIFA was building the Centre of Excellence or financing it through a loan, don’t you think FIFA’s lawyers would have requested sight of the deed to the property upon which the facility was to be built before they disburse US$6 million in funding?
Don’t you think at least one lawyer would have asked to see the legal documents for the property if it belonged to the FIFA?
When FIFA gives a country a GOAL Project it asks for all kinds of legal titles and documents. Why was none ever, ever asked for in this case?
Next question: Would you pay rent to live in your own house?
I am going to show you some invoices and you tell me why FIFA and CONCACAF would pay to use the facilities at the Centre of Excellence if they had owned it.
In fact, they did not even get a discount when they rented it.
You would think that a part-owner might get a discount, but they both paid the full price for their respective bills.
I am now going to show you copies of invoices to FIFA Development from the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence:
Rental of office space for January 2010, dated January 31, 2010 – amount $10,434.78 plus sales tax of $1,565.22. Total of $12,000 and that was the rent for the months from January 2010 to December 2010. The rent was increased in January 2011 for the year 2011 but since I could not find that receipt I will show you a copy of the Rental Income for February 2011.
Rental of office space for February 2011, – amount $17,391.30 plus tax of $2,608.07. Total amount $20,000.
Here is another copy of an Invoice for a FIFA event at the Centre. Invoice to FIFA Development dated August 25, 2010. Cleaning fee for the Ken Galt Hall, tables, padded chairs and two sets of table cloths for 10 days. And they paid the bill in full - $31,528.40.
Again, here is another invoice to FIFA Development for another FIFA event dated May 20, 2010. Six single rooms, 19 double rooms and two new rooms – all for eleven nights between August 31 and September 11. Total - $165,440.
And here is the receipt for the payment of $100,000 – balance $65,440; made to the FIFA Development Office on August 25, 2010, which balance they paid in full. Not one cent discount!!!! Not a half penny off!!!
In 1998, Jamaica became the first English Speaking Caribbean country to qualify for a FIFA World Cup; in 2006, Trinidad and Tobago became the second English Speaking country to qualify.
My track record in football shows that I met and fulfilled every objective as it relates to the development of football both in the Caribbean and the wider CONCACAF.
When I entered CONCACAF, CFU nations never stood a chance of qualifying for a FIFA World Cup. When I left, two CFU nations – Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago had qualified in the same year for the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Korea in 2007.
My stewardship within the FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU is beyond repute.
Every vicious allegation leveled against me is without basis. Not because I choose to remain quiet means I have no defence. But truth, when crushed to the ground will always rise.
It is still a mystery to me to fathom how a little country boy from Todd’s Road, Longdenville and Chaguanas could deceive for so long the mighty FIFA with more than 200 lawyers and an annual budget of US$2 billion for so long.
One must ask the question how did little Jack Warner manage to stay in his corner under the radar and enjoyed so much success for so long? Or is it just that what we are seeing today is the vindictiveness of an oligarchy against one who attempted to challenge the power of a Eurocentric and White regime and thus balance the playing field so that leaders of every colour, race and ethnicity could have a fair chance to become a President of FIFA?
But enough of FIFA, CONCACAF, the CFU and the Centre of Excellence for now . . .
I go now to the matter that I really want to talk to you about, let me tell you why I felt it necessary to tender my resignation first as a government minister and then as the Chairman of the UNC.
I have said before that the catalyst for my decision was the statement by the Prime Minister without even speaking to me that she was “stunned” when the Integrity Committee Report was revealed last Friday. Of course, on Sunday last when I asked the Honourable Prime Minister about that remark she said she never said so and I do believe her. I also did read as well that she intended to take action on her return to Trinidad.
As I said before last Sunday I went to the Prime Minister’s residence with my folder of papers. At the very start of my conversation with her I told her that I was offering my resignation should she think that she needs it, and then I went through page-by-page with her, the vast majority of the documents shown to you here tonight. Unfortunately the circumstances as they unfolded did not allow me the privilege to make similar presentations to the other members of Government and therefore they did not have the privilege and benefit of this information.
At last Sunday’s meeting, I told the PM that in order to give her peace of mind that I will resign on Friday, April 26, 2013, thereby giving me enough time to tie up some loose ends at the Ministry as well as discuss the SOFA Bill in the F&GP Committee – a Bill to which I had serious objections.
Our Prime Minister is a very brilliant legal mind and I do believe that she followed my presentation and the facts. Following my presentation, the Honourable Prime Minister advised me that she will consider my resignation offer.
I then left the Prime Minister’s residence with the intention of going to a puja in Trincity but upon coming outside of her office I saw three MPs lurking outside the room and I knew then that everything I said to the PM would have been in vain. The rest is history. I was called out of the puja by my security detail to call the Prime Minister who then advised me that she had reconsidered and that she would prefer to accept resignation now. I said ok and then hustled to the Ministry to clear my desk.
Friends, it is easy to fight external enemies like the PNM and Rowley but the hardest fight is to strike a blow against internal enemies and I have had to fight against my internal enemies for too long.
If we in our party continue to be consumed by hatred for each other as we have practiced in the past we will not survive. I am not bitter but when my friends are targeted, when my associates are targeted, when their jobs are threatened because of their association with me then we can never be successful ever again. My three sons have opted to live outside of Trinidad and Tobago for peace of mind and even that they have been denied.
We cannot win as a party if a Cabinet member bears so much malice as to deprive me from telling my side of the story by instructing CNMG to cancel the coverage of tonight’s meeting.
We cannot win as a party if within one day at the Ministry of Works & Infrastructure we are threatening to change communication departments in the Ministry because of its ethnic composition.
We cannot win my people if as a Government people’s jobs are lost because of their closeness to Jack Warner.
When these things begin to happen it is because some of us are misinterpreting the responsibilities given to us and when large portfolios like two mega Ministries are placed under one man’s control.
It sends the wrong message not only to the person in charge but also to the national community especially when one’s race or ethnicity can be punished because of the historical patterns of some of us.
I cannot live with that kind of belligerence nor should any member of the People’s Partnership Government. This hurts our party. And it hurts our Government.
Whether they like it or not I am and will continue to be a member of the United National Congress. I will never hurt my party nor interfere with its chances to win an election.
In 2008, I fought to put this party on an even footing. With the Movement for Change, my colleagues and I traversed this country from community to community for 14 months seeking ways to get our party ready to take over the reins of power and today I will do nothing to change that.
Many have advised me to make a clean break and begin anew but I am UNC and UNC I will remain. I am UNC and with the UNC is where my heart will always be.
I love my party but you my constituents, I love you more. I am still confident that no PNM under Rowley or this crop of politicians will be a better government than the People’s Partnership and therefore I will re-dedicate my energies to ensure that such never takes place.
Now, before I conclude, what of Keith Rowley, an everlastingly bitter man, an unhappy man, a man whose ambitions will never be fulfilled living forever in the shadows of his peers. A man characterized by his leader as a raging bull after he was kicked out of the Cabinet for unbecoming behaviour. This is the man who sees me as a threat to his ambitions of power and will do whatever is necessary - lie, connive, even sleep with the devil to make his dream come true.
But I have decided to be the bigger man and the better man tonight. I have decided that our country is reeking with too much hate and too much bitterness. There is too much rancour among us and as adults we are not providing our children with the right kind of examples they need.
I had planned to attack Rowley viciously here tonight and tell you about him from the cradle to the present including his stint as Dean of Discipline at Roxborough Government Secondary School some forty years ago up to the PNM Carnival fete at Balisier House but on reflection tonight is not the night for that.
Armed with affidavits and statements of all kinds I am prepared but not tonight. There will be other nights . . . I promise you.
So with dignity I will go to the Parliament tomorrow and face Rowley and his Motion. I will not say nor do anything to bring the Parliament into disrepute in any way. In fact, knowing our Speaker, he wont even allow it. So for now I will leave Rowley.
But before I close, I want to tell you a little bit about Andrew Jennings, this so-called credible journalist who claimed he helped the FBI and that he delivered secret documents to them.
Now if you don’t know the source of a story then do not believe it. If someone makes accusations about you or anyone else and fails to identify the accuser like the 38 people whom the CONCACAF claimed gave them testimony then don’t believe them. If you are making accusations and can’t stand as a man against the person you are accusing then you are a coward.
Let me tell you why it is important to know the identity of your accuser.
Andrew Jennings who poses as a paragon of virtue has been my nemesis for years posing as a paragon of virtue but Andrew Jennings is nothing more than a journalistic thug who sells his services to the highest bidder.
Jennings was the known “go to” thug for Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, a man known for his corruption and torture of footballers, footage of which has been shown on TV Stations and even the US Channel ESPN.
In 2009, Jennings was paid thousands of British Pounds to launch the dirtiest smear campaign against Mohammed Bin Hammam and he was cocky enough to prance around the lobby of the Ritz Carlton and the Westin Hotels in Kuala Lumpur grinning like an idiot, convinced that his dirty tricks would work out in his and his client’s favour. I was there!!!
Jennings’ dirty tricks failed.
Jennings got extremely upset at his loss. Sheikh Salman fired him on the spot and with his tail between his legs fled to his beloved England from Kuala Lumpar.
That is the integrity of one of my accusers.
And to think that the Lasana Liburds and Weinreichs of this world valorize this man. It tells us plenty about their own value system and their integrity.
Where was Jennings when I mortgaged my home in the 1980’s to raise funds for local football? Or where was he when I approached financial institutions in my personal capacity, for loans to assist local football.
But enough of Jennings tonight.
Before I close tonight, I know you are all asking what next for Jack Warner.
Let me tell you that when I spoke with the Prime Minister at her residence on Sunday I told her that if it became necessary for me to resign as Minister and UNC Chairman – which it now has – I would also wish to resign as the MP for Chaguanas West. I felt that the proper thing to do would be to offer you my constituents, the explanation and the facts and resign as the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West in keeping with the highest Parliamentary traditions
In my meeting last Sunday, I had advised the Prime Minister of my thinking on this matter. I also did tell her that I will want to contest the bye-election as a UNC Candidate for the Chaguanas West seat as I am UNC to the bone.
And as such, with events having unfolded as they are to this point, I wish to let you know that tomorrow, Friday, I would be advising the Speaker of the House of Representatives that effective midnight on Friday night I am resigning as Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West.
Section 69 (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Tobago states that where a vacancy arises in the House of Representatives within the first four years of the life of the Parliament a bye-election shall be held to fill such vacancy not later than 90 days from the date of the announcement of the vacancy by the Speaker.
Ninety days from April 25, 2013 will be July 24 2013 and who knows with luck, love and your support, Jack Warner will be back. I know many of you are still crying and I too as well am crying but from inside where it is even more painful. The Prime Minister in our meeting last Sunday even suggested that even if I do offer myself up for re-election I shall win and with your help and support, I too do feel so.
Then together – hand in hand – we shall set right all the wrongs that have been committed. We shall work together to strengthen our UNC and our government and ensure that the people are truly always the first to be served – and that they are served with dignity.
I promise that come what may, I will never leave you and I will never disappoint you.
So on Saturday a new office sign goes up to replace the Chaguanas West MP sign and then the bye-election campaign starts. I will still continue to see people from all walks of life, all over the country, from 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. However please be advised that it may take a little longer to achieve success since I will no longer be a Member of Parliament but many of my former Cabinet colleagues have assured me that nothing will change.
On Friday May 24th 2013, a new weekly newspaper shall be launched –Sunshine Newspaper – designed to bring a new hope into your lives.
And come July 24th 2013 who knows, with your love, your support and your understanding, I shall be your MP again.
I thank all of the members of the Protective Services for their support these past trying months. Based on their collective efforts, we were able to bring serious crimes down by over 35% and even murders have been reduced from an all time high of 38 and 46 in January and February respectively, to 19 and 14 in March and April to date. A finer bunch of men and women one could not have asked for. In Laventille, residents can now breathe freely again. I wish I could have done more to give the SRPs and Municipal Police Officers their outstanding allowances or even a new home for our Immigration Department as well as our National Security Operation Centre. But I am sure that in the fullness of time those goals and more shall be attained.
I thank all the former members of staff of the Ministry of National Security especially the members of my security detail for their untiring commitment and dedication.
But most important of all, I thank you my constituents for giving me the hope to carry on – today, a new day has dawned.
I thank you.