Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
William McKeeva Bush, the beleaguered premier of the Cayman Islands, yesterday characterised his country's governor, Duncan Taylor, as petty and vindictive.
Bush, who was the keynote speaker at the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) commencement ceremony, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, refused to be ruffled by his ordeal, instead radiating tranquility and defiantly belied the effects of the obvious rigours of the past three days.
"I would like to tell the whole story … . I have done nothing wrong," said Bush who landed in Jamaica after a nerve-wracking two days in Cayman.
"I have been in government a long time; I think this is a political witch-hunt and a very vindictive one by a petty and jealous governor," Bush told journalists after the ceremony.
The Cayman Islands premier was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of theft, breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest.
In a statement released after Bush's arrest, the British Governor's Office said that Cayman police will "carry out a robust, fair and comprehensive investigation regardless of the individual concerned".
Bush said he was not in a position to comment much on the issue that culminated in his arrest Tuesday morning.
"I have been told by my lawyers to be careful of what I say and I have to go by that," he said
Earlier, the 28-year political veteran, who is facing corruption charges, presented to the graduates the twin traits of integrity and honesty as the primary recipe for success in life.
During his presentation, which was punctuated by humorously historical anecdotes, Bush only hinted at his personal travails as he sounded a rallying call for the graduates to stand up and be counted.
He declared that integrity in leadership brings challenges. "I know that all too well this week; those of you who desire to take the career of political leadership ought to do so as it is an admirable career if we do it right," he stressed.
"As you observe these rules and pack them in your pockets, if you ever need them when you leave here to begin a new chapter of your life, remember you are the sole author of your story.
"Make it count. Each word you utter, and each smile you impart matter. If you live your lives well, it will be passed down in the hands of the people you love, do good and good will follow," he said.
"It might not be today; it might not be tomorrow; it will come. Give heartily for the next generation to inherit. It is about being connected to something bigger than ourselves.
"Now is your time; do something incredible; write your story and be credible," Bush said.
Along with integrity, Bush cited courage as a springboard for success. "You must apply leadership of integrity … ," he asserted.
"To you, the graduating class, courage and the wisdom to be humble and to be consistent in integrity in fighting for something or someone in whom we believe and the humility necessary to become all we aspire to be."
Bush stressed that it was that brand of unadulterated courage that defines a person.