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I will not resign, says Daniel

I will not resign, says Daniel

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This country’s Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel says that he is not prepared to resign.{{more}}

Daniel, in response to a question asked by parliamentary representative for the Northern Grenadines Dr Godwin Friday, said that his success in the past is justification to continue as minister of agriculture.

Friday, in the House of Assembly last Tuesday, asked Daniel what strategies he had adopted to assure the farmers that his (Daniel’s) ministry will do what is required to combat the Black Sigatoka disease.

He followed with the question “Have you considered resigning as Minister of Agriculture so that someone else may provide leadership in the industry and a fresh start for farmers, and if not why not?”

Daniel initially began his response by saying that it was under his watch as the area representative for North Windward that a bridge was built and that the constituency has seen secondary education.

But Friday interjected indicating that Daniel may have misinterpreted the question.

“I am not asking him to resign as the Parliamentary Representative for North Windward. That is between him and the electors in North Windward. I am talking about his portfolio as Minister of Agriculture,” Friday said.

“He wouldn’t have built a school or a bridge as the Minister of Agriculture, and his answer so far is talking about his election.”

Friday justified the question saying that the matter was not trivial.

“Because there are farmers out there who have to decide whether to risk further financial investment in their bananas and if they feel they don’t have proper leadership they may not feel to do so,” Friday explained.

But Daniel responded that he was not going to resign because he was a member of a “star” team which had been able to reduce the poverty rate in the country.

He spoke of the accomplishments in the banana industry.

“There are no two ways about it, that over the past few years, the banana industry has been experiencing some difficulties, but it is this government in 2003 that established a unit in the Ministry of Agriculture to handle diversification matters,” Daniel said.

He added that he was in fact helping the very representative to do work in his constituency.

According to Daniel, it was under his ministry that the BNTF programme was working on refurbishing the clinic in Bequia, in Friday’s constituency.

“I have to ask myself – is the member who is asking this question, is he sane in his mind? Is he natural? Is he a normal person?” Daniel asked.

“I have seen questions in this Parliament today in relation to sporting facilities, in relation to yachting, [but] I have not seen or heard the representative over the past 10 or 11 years making a contribution on these matters that he constantly comes to the Parliament asking questions,” Daniel said.

“It seems to me that the minister is not even part and parcel of the constituency he represents.”

Rather, Daniel said that he had a legacy in his constituency and as the Minister of Agriculture.

He added that it was not only the prime minister who had seen his credible performance, and this was evident because in 2005 he was promoted to minister of agriculture, moving from junior minister in 2001, and based on his victory in the polls in 2010 was promoted to senior minister.

“What does that say? That there is confidence in the representative from North Windward,” he said.

Within recent times, Daniel has been criticized for the poor handling of the Black Sigatoka disease.

Daniel got himself in further hot water after making a racially divisive comment at a Unity Labour Party political meeting in Sandy Bay back in September.

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