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PM accuses the Opp. Leader of “Jammetry”

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley admits he and A&V Drilling owner Nazim Baksh are friends.

However, at yesterday’s post cabinet news conference, Dr Rowley said, “being a friend means something and we are all to be held accountable for our own individual conduct. And if it is I am expected that I say I don’t know Mr Baksh then I will not do that”.

The Prime Minister also said he could not wait to call him when the alleged fake oil fiasco involving Mr Baksh’s company and Petrotrin first broke.

He said he knew Mr Baksh very well. The  Prime minister said, did would not be aware of what all of his friends would do all of the time, but added if someone was his friend he would not “deny or disown” the person on the grounds that an allegation was made.

Dr Rowley said, when he first heard the news he called Mr Baksh only to find out that he too was out of the country at that time.

“When I first saw the report it was shocking news. I did call him and he has denied it in very firm terms,” Rowley said.

Asked whether he thought it was appropriate for him to call Baksh, the PM said “of course it was.” “In fact, I couldn’t wait to call him to find out what all this was about and he said he did not know,” Dr Rowley said.

The PM also commended Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for bringing the issue to the fore, saying he would have done the same if he had similar information as the Opposition.

However, Dr Rowley accused Mrs Persad Bissessar of “jamettery” in her handling of the situation, saying the facts should be first confirmed.

He said the claims also reflected concerns that there was a systematic failure on the part of Petrotrin not only to effectively tackle corruption, but also to bring people to account.

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