Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley public criticism of Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) for its poor performance following the flooding in several parts of Trinidad and Tobago after the recent inclement weather is nothing short of a political cop out.
The ODPM is a a division of the Ministry of National Security which is led by a Minister of National Security who sits in the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago chaired by the Prime Minister. Yet still the Prime Minister lamented to the nation about the “repeated failure” of the ODPM. The Prime Minister also chairs the National Security Council where the Minister of National Security is also a member.
For the Honourable Prime Minister to threaten the OPDM after its “repeated failures” is to refuse to deal with the continued incompetence of the Minister of National Security and incompetence of political leadership that is now the hallmark of the Rowley led PNM Administration.
This same ODPM with the same staffing only two years ago was able to respond and respond quickly to national emergencies. What changed to transform the OPDM was leadership both at the operational and political levels. Prime Minister Rowley however now asserted that “I am convinced that we do not have the correct personnel in there and that we are not prepared to respond.”
It was the Rowley Administration that decided not to renew the contract of Dr.Stephen Ramroop who successfully led the ODPM through a number of natural disasters and skilfully communicated with the nation over the years. It is unfortunate that the public officers at the ODPM are unable to defend themselves from this unwarranted attack which should be better place at the incompetent feet the Minister of National Security and Cabinet.
The Honourable Prime Minister and Ministers of Government has developed a disturbing habit now passing the blame onto Public Officers for their own political incompetence. It now left to the Prime Minister to pass the blame to TV the weather man/woman for the incompetence of the Administration.
Former Minister of Food Production