Supporters want PNP to bat for disabled
Gary Rowe, a member of the People’s National Party (PNP) from North East Manchester’s executive group, lost his right foot six months ago, but he was determined to be physically present for the party’s 85th annual conference.
Rowe, like other amputees, journeyed from miles across the island to join with the hundreds of Comrades who gathered at the National Arena in Kingston on Sunday.
They did so because they confidently believe that the leaders they choose from the PNP will better assist them with care than any other political party in Jamaica.
Rowe, whose foot was cut off in March due to diabetes, was also a former candidate for the Craighhead division.
“I had to be here despite the disability that I have now… . I lost, but I’m still on the ground. Mi nuh gone nuh weh! Mi de ya same way!” Rowe told The Gleaner.
“This conference is significant because it is the People’s National Party’s 85th annual conference. Eighty-five years! And we are of the view that the ground is swelling for the People’s National Party at this time, and we have to come out and show our numbers to show that Mark Golding will become the next prime minister of Jamaica in the shortest order, and when they call the parish council [local government election], we are going to take all 14 parishes,” he said.
Coincidentally, Rowe was entering the National Arena in a queue along with two other individuals on crutches, Leroy Hunter, who is also from Manchester, and Chester James, from St Ann.
‘TIME COME’ FOR A CHANGE
For James, he used his one leg to journeyed to the arena because he believes that “Time Come” for a change, as the PNP’s new tag line states.
“We need a change of government! Time hard!” James briefly told The Gleaner.
Another amputee, Patrick Rhoden, who was not admitted inside the National Arena because it was filled to capacity when he arrived, said he wants the PNP to win in the next election because they have Senator Floyd Morris, who is visually impaired, living with special needs, and can bat for the special-needs community from experience.
“We need some more accessibility for persons with disability inna di country … . We woulda want someone to anchor us with disability and a di greatest thing wi a advocate for right now,” Rhoden told The Gleane r.
“When PNP did inna power, dem set some plan for persons with disability, like wheelchair ramps and di light post dem move outta di sidewalk and give we wheelchair access, and all of these things, and mi realise when PNP come out of power, everything just stop. So we want see if a really di PNP mek it did a gwaan, or wi no know why di JLP mek it not going on, so we have a problem right there,” he said.
Another amputee and wheelchair-bound mother, Natasha Grant, told The Gleaner that the PNP representatives she supports have promised her prosthetic legs, which would cost her $1.4 million, and she believes that they will soon follow through on their promise.
“Mi come here fi support our awaiting member of parliament, Omar Newell for Central St Mary, pan mi sick foot!” Grant told The Gleaner while being wheeled into the National Arena by her son, Jerwayne Brown.
“Central St Mary, a PNP place that! A Newell place that! A Dr Morais Guy place that!” she said, in reference to the longstanding, outgoing PNP MP for the constituency.
She told The Gleaner that she has been promised by Lothan Cousins, of South Western Clarendon, that she would get help in receiving the prosthetic legs that she needs.