Many observers are saying that it is not the first time that OWTU leader Ancel Roget has declared “war” on Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
They are accustomed with Roget’s robber talk over the years, blowing hot and cold when dealing with OWTU issues.
Back in 2014, Roget lashed out at Persad-Bissessar at Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain when she was Prime Minister for what he called her “unprovoked attack on him in Parliament.”
He said Persad-Bissessar would not have a quiet day in or out of office after using Parliamentary Privilege to attack him.
“The fight will continue long after you leave office. You would not be able to hold your head up after”, he told the crowd.
Roget unveiled a mannequin wearing a yellow dress and encouraged the crowd to shout “boo” four times at the effigy.
“You cannot fight with me, you have to be sober to do that,” he said. Now five years later rabble-rouser Roget, has again declared “war” on Persad-Bissessar.
This time he gave her 48 hours to say if she supports MP Dr Roodlal Moonilal accusations in Parliament of government’s underhand dealings in the sale of the Point-a-Pierre refinery to the union.
But instead of training his “guns” on Moonilal, the OWTU leader took his attack to Persad-Bissessar calling on the Opposition Leader to state the UNC’s position with respect to the OWTU company Patriotic Energy acquiring the billion-dollar assets of the refinery and the port in Point-a-Pierre.
Moonilal had raised questions about the acquisition of former Petrotrin by the OWTU’s Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co. Ltd.
Behaving like a bully, Roget threatened that if Persad-Bissessar does not respond within 48 hours, the OWTU will mount such a campaign to expose more corruption within the UNC and its attempt to get at the OWTU.
Kamla lashed back at Roget saying that she and the UNC will not be blackmailed to remain silent on issues of national importance.
She said, “don’t be mistaken, the UNC and I will not be blackmailed by anyone to remain silent on issues of public interest in order to gain support for any election”.
Moonilal said he is not retracting corruption allegations in the OWTU’s acquisition of the Point-a-Pierre refinery.
Over the last week, there were many discussions taking place in bars, homes and the man-in-the-street about Rowley’s claim that hitmen offered money to kill him and questions being raised over the sale of the refinery to the OWTU.
So when the rum posse of Ramsingh, Balkie, Blacks, Dougla and Rasta met for their usual lime at Corky’s bar they were discussing the issues of the day.
Barman: “Ramsingh, ah thought yuh say yuh eh drinking last week because ah Divali. Yuh say yuh go stay away from rum and fast but like d rum jumbie was in yuh head dat yuh had to go and take ah drink.”
Ramsingh: “Ah say ah not drinking Divali week-end. When ah was wuking Caroni ah used to breathe alcohol every day. Ah was wuking in d rum factory even during d Divali celebrations. Dey say yuh could smell d rum but yuh cyar drink it.”
Barman: “So today yuh go just smell d rum and yuh eh go drink it? Ah know Divali was still ah few days away when yuh went and take ah small ting.”
Balkie: “Is only dem devotees who does stay away from alcohol and meat when is Divali. It have Hindus who does fast for weeks before Divali because dey are very religious. Look Rasta dey, he say he doh eat meat, he does only eat fish and vegetables whole year. He say now and then he does eat ah KFC.”
Rasta: “Ah does eat everything. Food is food, ah doh discriminate. Ah does eat wild meat when hunting season open. We eh have guns but we does go with dogs to ketch dem wild meat.”
Dougla: “Ramsingh, ah hear how some UNC fellas want to set up criminals to kill Rowley. Ah hear dey paying US$2million. But whey dey getting dat amount ah US dollars. And since when Rowley deserves so much? Ent dem businessmen say dey cyar even get US$200 in d bank! Ah feel is only dem drug lords whey have dat kind ah Yankee money. Yuh go hear all kinds ah dotish tings for dis election”.
Blacks: “As yuh talk but US dollars, ah see whey every time dem pirates in d Gulf hold dem fishermen, dey does call for d ransom in US dollars to free dem and dey family does find d money easy, easy, to pay. Ah read whey some fishermen families down Cedros pay US$13,000 to free dem. It look like down in d deep south it have plenty US dollars. Dat is what dey use to pay for d drugs.”
Ramsingh: “Barman yuh eh hear how Roget give tantie Kamla 48 hours to say her position on the OWTU winning d bid to buy d refinery. Roget is ah big bluffer. He say he have more corruption to talk bout when Kamla was in government. Whey was Roget mouth when Rowley closed down d refinery and send home thousands of workers?”
Balkie: “Roget and dem union leaders are political grasshoppers. One day dey supporting d PNM, d next day, d UNC and even d COP. Dem only looking for whey d grass is greener. But dem union leaders cyar tell dey members to support any political party in ah election. How dey members pay dey union dues is not how dey vote”
Barman: “Ah just feel dat OWTU refinery deal go fall through. Yuh eh hear Rowley start to blame d UNC for saying it have corruption in d deal and how dat could block d financing. He say is d UNC to blame for Sandals hotel pulling out of Tobago. Poor Rowley!”
Until next week.