By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Member of Parliament and People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member for the past eight years, Africo Selman, has finally spoken out on the reasons behind her recent resignation from the Party, saying that she felt side-lined by the leadership of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU).
During an exclusive interview with iNews on Thursday, March 05 Selman detailed many of the perils she encountered while being a member of Parliament for the coalition, led by David Granger. She tendered her resignation on February 26, with immediate effect.
Selman, who was Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, told iNews that she would have drafted several motions to be taken before the National Assembly but they were rejected by the partnership’s leaders.
According to her, these motions were primarily rejected because they did not fall under her purview of Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister. The young politician told iNews that her motions were either “never acknowledged or accepted.”
Selman said one of the reasons for her resignation was “the undemocratic nature of the APNU/PNC that is, my views not being taken on board and me being abused for my views sometimes.”
When asked if she felt she was undermined and undervalued as a person by the APNU, the former parliamentarian responded in the positive.
Selman also detailed bout of verbal abuse suffered at the hands of APNU’s Chief Whip Amna Ally for several different issues that did not require such a retort.
“The Chief Whip of the Party called me on the phone, curse me out; more or less in saying that this is the view of PNC/APNU, this is our position and your position should not be sent over the internet…the Chief Whip of the Party has been consistently abusive to all members of the Party…I felt that you know I have had enough of this,” Selman told iNews.
She indicated that her decision to depart the Party that she served for eight years was concretely taken after an incident of a similar nature involving Ally, whereby the decorations for a function were not done within a stipulated time frame.
“I said, this is it for me, because you know I am getting persons to give to this Party and if you know you have no respect for me and for the persons resources then I cannot be associated with you; respect is a big thing for me,” Selman lamented.
She also accused Ally of cursing her in public at the wake of Former Deputy Speaker, Deborah Backer, which she said only served to fuel her growing dissent with the Party’s leadership.
When asked whether she had made any complaints to the Leader of the Party, Selman said yes; but noted that the issues were merely cosmetically addressed by Granger.
“Mr Ganger is very disciplined as all military leaders are; he appears to be considerate; it appears that he would give you satisfaction on the surface of it, but it doesn’t manifest itself into reality,” she explained.
When further probed about her political ambitions, Selman told iNews that she has not taken a concrete decision on whether she would be joining the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
She however pointed out that she would be awaiting the release of the PPP/C manifesto before that decision is taken.
“I will take a look at it, examine it in detail; if it is my vision for Guyana, my vision for education, for youths, foreign policy, then I will join the Party,” she said adding that she has not been approached by the Party to join its camp.
Selman also made it clear that she intended on voting for the no-confidence motion were it to be debated in the National Assembly, since she is required to vote along the line taken by the Party lest she be recalled from the National Assembly.