Wed | Jan 27, 2021

NIDS must be resurrected

Published:Friday | November 8, 2019 | 12:45 AM


The Supreme Court declared the National Identification legislation ‘unconstitutional’, but the decision must not be perceived as a requiem. The outcome should serve as a wake-up call for Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who has wasted valuable political capital by delegating the responsibility to an unpopular and uncompromising legislator.

Marketing the National Identification legislation required the exceptional leadership of Andrew Holness.

Legislation of this nature requires the humility, perseverance, and determination of the late Alexander Bustamante, Clement Tavares, and Edward Seaga. Those JLP luminaries are credited for their hard work in convincing rural Jamaica’s undecided voters that they should vote ‘NO’ to Federation. The people of this independent and sovereign nation owe a debt of gratitude to these legislators.

Despite the fact that no heads rolled, and no one was sacked for the NIDS debacle, not much is being done publicly to resurrect NIDS. I really do not know why the prime minister is not launching a nationwide education programme with new leadership at the helm. NIDS will become the law of the land if the prime minister asserts himself.

Holness must bear in mind that the toughest part of political leadership is knowing when to compromise and when to stand on principles.