No exclusivity for MPs - Warmington says MPs' laziness springs citizens into action
Everald Warmington, the state minister in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, has charged that some members of parliament (MPs) are lazy, this in light of being accused by the opposition spokesman on Transport and works of politically victimising People's National Party MPs with the allocation of drain-cleaning funds.
Azan had on Tuesday lambasted Warmington for bypassing MPs and issuing funding to the councillors to do work in several constituencies.
But Warmington has not taking Azan's criticisms of him lightly. He countered by declaring that he is responsive to any one in Jamaica that speaks to him on issues. He made it clear that he is not beholden to any member of parliament, but to the people of the country.
"I do not have to wait until any member of parliament speaks to me, nor do I have to speak to any one of them to make allocation for work to be done. Any citizen in Jamaican can call my office number and I will listen to them and, if possible, address their situation," Warmington said.
The state minister slammed some members of parliament who he said were lazy, thus forcing citizens to go directly to him seeking his intervention.
"If they were doing their jobs as MP, a lot of citizens would not have to go to ministers," he said.
Warmington told The Gleaner that recently, a councillor from the Dalvey division in Eastern St Thomas sought his assistance.
"Councillor (Michael) McLeod came to me and complained to me about a gully that has always being flooded in Dalvey. Fenton Ferguson, the MP, has never brought it to my attention," Warmington said.
Continued Warmington: "Golden Grove in St Ann, the member of parliament did not speak to me about the problem there. It was the citizens that sought a meeting with me. We had the meeting and I allocated the funds for the road to be fixed there."
He said it was a similar situation in Hampton Green, Spanish Town, where an issue was brought to his attention by citizens and not the MP. The state minister said that he has found the funds to assist the residents and the work will commence.
"If the practice before was that a minister must go through a member of parliament, that type of practice ends with me," a tough-talking Warmington told The Gleaner.
"It is not going to happen under this minister," he said.
In the meantime, Warmington is promising to be defiant to Azan by vowing not to change "one iota" of how he operates. He says he will be working with the nation's citizens to achieve the ministry's objectives.
"Whether councilors, whether ordinary citizens, whether it is parent-teachers' association, whether it is the schools, I am going to be working with them," he insisted, while making it clear that MPs can still "come to me".