Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Neita Robertson on a mission to smash 'Vaz' - PNP standard-bearer says West Portland deserves better leadership

Published:Tuesday | May 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis/Gleaner Writer
Valerie Neita-Robertson

Valerie Neita-Robertson, the newly installed People's National Party (PNP) standard-bearer in West Portland, has said that she is on a mission to smash the Vaz (pun intended) in creating well-needed changes in West Portland.

Neita Robertson is expected to go up against Daryl Vaz, the sitting Jamaica Labour Party member of parliament (MP), in the parliamentary election constitutionally due by mid-2021.

"Everyone should have equal benefits as it relates to public resources. Under my leadership, the people of West Portland will know what it is like to be treated fairly without any form of victimisation or intimidation. I will listen keenly to your advice and recommendation. Your pain will be mine, but together, we will achieve," she told supporters attending a special meeting at the Buff Bay Primary School in Portland on Sunday, where she was installed as the caretaker by PNP President Dr Peter Phillips.

Neita-Robertson was under-scoring comments made earlier by former PNP MP Errol 'Jiggs' Ennis, who won four consecutive elections in West Portland.

 

DEPRIVED OF STATE FUNDS

 

"I never thought that I would live to see the day when the people of this constituency are deprived of government funds," Ennis said.

"State funds are used indiscrimi-nately to gain political advantage, while satisfying the needs of their followers. But today, we have a competent candidate who is for the people and with the people. You can effect that change in supporting a woman who is committed to assume that leadership role," he added.

In introducing Neita-Robertson, Dr Phillips said that the time was right for a change and that the party was prepared.

"Neita-Robertson is committed to the task ahead and she will make a great difference in this constituency. I hear talk about them coming for East Portland, but I have news for them. Not only will we be retaining the seat in the East, but we will be taking West Portland as well. The people are crying out for a change, as their lives have worsened under this administration," the PNP president and opposition leader said.

"Crime has gotten way out of hand, and this prolonged state of emergency is not the answer. A state of emergency, according to our Constitution, is a short-term measure.

"Approximately 2,000 people have been detained under the state of emergency in [St James] with their rights violated. Clearly they (the JLP Government) have no clue about governance, and the continuous mismanagement on their part is creating hardships on everyone, including coffee farmers, who have seen a reduction in coffee price from $12,000 per box, down to $2,000," Phillips added.