8 years ago he talked about court-martial …”TODAY, TREASON IS THE WORD”

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Just over eight years ago, in the run-up to the General Elections, PNM Diego Martin West candidate, Dr Keith Rowley warned of court-martial within the ranks of that party.

Rowley who was fired two years earlier by then Prime Minister Patrick Manning, was at a political meeting in Four Roads, Diego Martin, warning that those who didn’t hear would feel.

He told his supporters that if things did not turn out right, there would be consequences. Well, Manning lost the elections and was hounded out of Balisier House days later by supporters of Rowley.

Fast forward eight years later. Rowley is accusing a candidate in the PNM internal elections of treason.

With a hotly contested elections expected on Sunday, Row­ley ac­cused one of his ri­vals – Mustapha Ab­dul-Hamid – of try­ing to un­der­mine him and caus­ing trea­son in the par­ty.

Ab­dul-Hamid,  a former Government Minister, is vy­ing for the post of chair­man as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date in the PNM elec­tion. He comes up against Minister of Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Colm Im­bert, who is on Row­ley’s slate.

Ab­dul-Hamid served un­der Man­ning, but has not been a supporter of Rowley. But Rowley told supporters on Tuesday night not to vote for Abdul-Hamid since he had a ca­reer of be­ing hate­ful, op­posed to every­thing in the PNM and nev­er held of­fice in the par­ty.

He added, “Mustapha’s claim to fame is com­mit­ting trea­son on the PNM. When you go­ing out there try­ing to mo­bilise par­ty MPs to over throw the leader in the Par­lia­ment that is close to trea­son.

“Those who are now ab­solute­ly sure that they can run the par­ty bet­ter than me and my team, let us com­pare the records.”

Row­ley said some peo­ple have been say­ing that his lead­er­ship has been a prob­lem in the PNM.

Fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment as Op­po­si­tion Leader in 2010, Row­ley said the agen­da of Ab­dul-Hamid and oth­ers “was to deal with me.”

Row­ley said he al­so had to a face a bank which claimed the PNM had owed $4 mil­lion on Bal­isi­er House which he had to save.

The par­ty was al­so in ar­rears of $800,000 to PTSC while CN­MG was owed a tidy sum.

Rowley added, “Dur­ing the pe­ri­od while I was sav­ing Bal­isi­er House, putting a team to­geth­er and fight­ing the gov­ern­ment to get the PNM in of­fice I was the sub­ject of their dis­course. And the sub­ject of that dis­course was my un­for­tu­nate colour ac­cord­ing to them. I tired tell them, you see me, I am a proud black man.”

Row­ley plead­ed with par­ty mem­bers not to elect an OJT, but a com­pe­tent and ex­pe­ri­enced team who can top­ple its con­tenders in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 elec­tions.

He declared, “Any team led by Mustapha Hamid can’t be a se­ri­ous team.”

For eight years, Row­ley said, Ab­dul-Hamid dis­tanced him­self from the PNM.

Row­ley re­called the last time he saw Ab­dul-Hamid was in his of­fice in 2010 who he claimed was “fum­ing with ha­tred he had from 2009.”

He said Ab­dul-Hamid’s con­duct was “so dis­grace­ful in my of­fice, and as he left my door I said to him qui­et­ly, im­me­di­ate­ly there, that you will nev­er en­ter my of­fice again.”

Hav­ing tried to un­der­mine the PNM on the out­side and failed, Row­ley said the par­ty’s in­ter­nal elec­tion pro­vides an op­por­tu­ni­ty for Ab­dul-Hamid and oth­ers “to come and un­der­mine us from the in­side.”

The PM said for over five years Ab­dul-Hamid told vot­ers, PNM mem­bers and Mus­lims not to vote for the par­ty.

Rowley said, “Af­ter all that be­hav­iour, while we there fight­ing in the Op­po­si­tion, while I am there fight­ing to save Bal­isi­er House and fight­ing to pay the bills and fight­ing to pay the staff, he walk­ing around with let­ter to un­der­mine me.”

Row­ley said when he thought he had an Op­po­si­tion work­ing to go in­to Gov­ern­ment “Hamid would have un­der­mined and cap­sized the whole thing. And of course, that would have made a lot of nice news.”

He said Ab­dul-Hamid went be­hind his back “to tell the Pres­i­dent to go against the (PNM’s) gen­er­al coun­cil’s in­struc­tions and re­move Row­ley as leader. And put who?”

“This un­der­min­ing is not an at­tribute. Here it is, I am hav­ing sleep­less nights, try­ing to fig­ure how to get from Op­po­si­tion to Gov­ern­ment, he can’t point to a sin­gle thing he has done in that pe­ri­od from 2010 to now.”

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MUSTAPHA ABDUL-HAMID

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DR KEITH ROWLEY 

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