Letter: Call made by Harmon for Minister Benn to resign has no basis


Dear Editor,

It comes as no surprise that following the recent fire which destroyed the Brickdam Police Station, the Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, would release a ridiculous statement calling for the resignation of the Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn.

I find the statement to be hypocritical and biased, and, as such, I ask that you allow me space in your publication to share some of my views.

First, the call made by Harmon for Minister Benn to resign over the Brickdam Station fire has no basis, since the investigation revealed that it was an act of arson, not poor leadership, as is stated by Harmon.

The investigation also led to the individual responsible for the fire being identified. In addition to this, no lives were lost.

However, back in 2016, when the APNU+AFC coalition was in office, the Camp Street Prison was set on fire and 17 prisoners lost their lives. A part of the facility was also destroyed.

At that time, Khemraj Ramjattan was in charge, functioning in the capacity of Minister of Public Security. With so many lives lost in that fire, why didn’t Harmon make calls for the resignation of his ministerial colleague Ramjattan, for poor leadership and incompetence?
Editor, I wish to also point out that, in 2017, there was another fire at the Camp Street Prison facility, which resulted in its destruction and the death of Prison Officer Odinga Wickham. Where was Harmon then? Why did he not call for Ramjattan to step down as Minister of Public Security?

It is ridiculous that now, with the Brickdam Police Station fire, Harmon is calling for Minister Benn to resign. I posit this question to Harmon: On what basis should the Minister resign? Again, I say, no lives were lost in the fire; efforts were made immediately to ensure that the work of the Police Force continue as smoothly as possible; and the culprit responsible for the fire was identified.

As far as I can see, the Minister and the Police should be commended for their efforts to deal with this unfortunate situation. It would appear that Harmon’s obsession with painting the PPP/C’s ministers in a bad light is affecting his ability to think properly.

Alvin Hamilton