NATIONAL Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Ayanna Webster-Roy on Monday ignored calls by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the Prime Minister to fire them.
In a statement on Sunday, Persad-Bissessar called for Dr Rowley to fire Hinds over current levels of crime, Youth Development Minister Foster Cummings for allegations made against him in a 2019 Special Branch report, and Webster-Roy over a report she laid last month in Parliament, which spoke about children in residential care facilities not being safe.
While Hinds did not directly address Persad-Bissessar’s call for his dismissal at a news conference at his ministry at Temple Court, Port of Spain, he is not considering resigning because some people believe he is not up to the task.
“The answer to your question is no. I know what my responsibilities are. My Prime Minister knows what my responsibilities as one of those ministers (he chose) are. He is the one to judge.”
Hinds declared he takes his ministerial responsibilities very seriously.
“I tacke them as they arise.”
He recalled some important advice that Rowley gave all PNM government ministers when the PNM returned to office after the September 7, 2015 general election.
“‘If you, as a minister, lie to the public, lie to the Parliament, it is a fireable offence.’ We live by that. We live with that.”
Hinds was appointed National Security Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle on April 19, 2021, as a result of the death of then energy minister Franklin Khan. He replaced Minister in the OPM Stuart Young, while Young was appointed Energy Minister.
In response to Persad-Bissessar’s call for her resignation, Webster-Roy said, “No comment on the utterances of the opposition.”
Cummings could not be reached for comment.
At a news conference at his ministry in Port of Spain on May 6, Cummings said the allegations in the report against him were baseless.
In another statement on Monday, Persad-Bissessar reiterated her call for Hinds’ dismissal. In this statement, Persad-Bissessar claimed Hinds recently said victims of sexual assault are “profiting” from attacks.
“Providing no evidence to substantiate his outlandish claims, Hinds is now telling the nation that unsolved sexual crimes are due to victims making deals with criminals.”
She felt Hinds had crossed a line of no return with these alleged statements.
“Fitzgerald Hinds has disgraced himself and the office he holds. He must go now. “