SVG

Eustace condemns dismissal of Otto Sam

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. (File photo)

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. (File photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 22, IWN – When will the victimisation of persons who stand by their convictions and speak out end?

That is the question that Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace asked on Tuesday in the wake of the firing of outspoken public servant, Otto Sam, last week after Sam’s 33 years of service to the nation.

Sam last year blew the whistle on the failure of the staff of this country’s disaster management agency to meet for nine months — even after the hurricane season had begun last June.

In 2010, the career educator was transferred from his post as head teacher of the South Rivers Methodist School to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).

The transfer came after Sam complained to the Ministry of Education that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves broke its protocol by not reporting to the head teacher first, when he visited the school.

Gonsalves is the parliamentary representative for the constituency where the school is located.

Sam refused to apologise to Gonsalves as the Ministry of Education ordered and was sent to NEMO to work.

Last July, Sam wrote a letter in local newspapers about the situation at NEMO and was suspended on half pay in August, pending the outcome of an investigation.

He was fired from the Public Service on Wednesday after appearing before a tribunal.

Otto Sam. (Internet photo)

Otto Sam. (Internet photo)

“I see that Otto Sam has been sent his walking papers, or his marching papers. When are we going to stop this? When are we going to stop this constant victimisation of persons who have the courage and the strength to speak out and stand by their convictions and not be cowered into oblivion?” Eustace said on his New Democratic Party’s radio programme.

“Our development process must, of necessity, require people who question. Otherwise we can never improve. And that is not just for social matters, that is also for economic matters,” he said.

Eustace said the situation is similar to that facing Port Police who, he said, are at risk of losing their jobs because they took industrial action recently.

“In the same way you might want to squeeze a Port Police, the economic consequence is that he doesn’t have any job afterward. And all that can impact on the economy; it impacts on business and impacts on their personal lives.

“Why are we prepared to accept that kind of behaviour? Why are we? Are we all cowered now, cowered into a position where we don’t even want to speak?

“These things must really bother us as a nation. … I am sure we can do better than that. I am sure the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines deserve better than that. Sometimes, it seems that all we have is a plate of worries brought on by an administration that has lost its way. It is time for them to go,” Eustace said.

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Discussion

9 thoughts on “Eustace condemns dismissal of Otto Sam

  1. Sigh….

    Posted by Anesia Baptiste | May 22, 2013, 21:42
    • Let Mr. Eustace read what he said. Remind him that this came from “ONE SIDE OF HIS MOUTH”

      “I see that Otto Sam has been sent his walking papers, or his marching papers. When are we going to stop this? When are we going to stop this constant victimisation of persons who have the courage and the strength to speak out and stand by their convictions and not be cowered into oblivion?” Eustace said on his New Democratic Party’s radio programme.

      “Our development process must, of necessity, require people who question. Otherwise we can never improve. And that is not just for social matters, that is also for economic matters,” he said.

      Eustace said the situation is similar to that facing Port Police who, he said, are at risk of losing their jobs because they took industrial action recently.

      “In the same way you might want to squeeze a Port Police, the economic consequence is that he doesn’t have any job afterward. And all that can impact on the economy; it impacts on business and impacts on their personal lives.

      “Why are we prepared to accept that kind of behaviour? Why are we? Are we all cowered now, cowered into a position where we don’t even want to speak?

      “These things must really bother us as a nation. … I am sure we can do better than that. I am sure the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines deserve better than that. Sometimes, it seems that all we have is a plate of worries brought on by an administration that has lost its way. It is time for them to go,” Eustace said.

      Posted by skyhawk57e | May 23, 2013, 11:20
  2. Remember what you did to Mrs Anesia Baptiste. I guess you forgot Mr Eustace.
    I really wonder about you. Did you get hit in the head? My my.

    Posted by skyhawk57e | May 22, 2013, 23:26
  3. Mr. Eustace, How is this firing different from you firing Anesia Baptiste or Mrs Nicolls who was your secretary for twelve years. They say: DO SO NAH LIKE SO! EH? isn’t this hypocritical?

    Posted by Caddy King | May 22, 2013, 23:27
  4. So it’s NEMO and not REMO? Anyway my point about firing Otto Sam still stand. These actions by Ralph and his puppets are what drive me up a wall. I hope when Arnhim takes over he will make changes, so that folks can take their complaints to an independent body. This can be the same body that addresses police abuse and police killings. He must also reintroduce corporal punishment back into the schools. Discipline has gone down the drain because children are not afraid of, or respect nobody.
    I am sure more discipline can help to reduce the murders that is spiraling out of control in SVG. Children must be taught early, that there are consequences for their behaviour. The criminals that do heinous crimes must be locked away for the rest of their lives, since there is no death penalty. Vincentians cannot depend on Ralph (a criminal lawyer who defended criminals) to bring down the crime rate. I hope the opposition will use this topic during the next campaign. Crime must be brought under control.
    Let me warn the NDP that they must also reintroduce the town and village councils. The entire island should not be administered from Kingstown. Give folks a chance to look after and run the affairs in their own backyard. I know this is a topic for another day, but I am putting it upfront, because Ralph broke his promised to reintroduce those councils.

    Posted by pvpalmer | May 23, 2013, 02:45
  5. Have you lost your mind Mr Eustace? What were you thinking? You need to just leave the party, I cannot believe you. I put all trust in you to take back St.Vincent and The Grenadines from the hands of the “Leader of the ULP” and now this. Think about what people are saying about this. It is quite evident that you are not fit to get our “Little Nation” back on track. Just resign man. Leave the country to someone else, As a matter of fact just leave the country. Go to Balliceux and catch a goat. The vagrant “Montai” in Paul’s lot would have something else to say about Otto Sam’s dismissal. Go get ah check-up from the neck up. That’s the kind ah ting dat duz get me real vex. I vex vex vex.

    Posted by skyhawk57e | May 23, 2013, 11:13
  6. I really do not see how Otto Sam situation and Anesia’s is comparable. But i guess we will do and say anything to cover up all the wickedness of this administration.

    Posted by Shanile Howe | May 23, 2013, 11:54
  7. SHANILE HOWE, since you’re so KNOWLEDGEABLE about OTTO SAM’S situation and this ADMINISTRATION, why don’t you or anyone here tell US what does the GOVERNMENT of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to do with the FIRING of OTTO SAM?

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | May 24, 2013, 11:47
  8. VINCYPOWA, you and everyone else knows that they have everything to do with his firing, more so one individual who administers spite, malice and fear. Replacing decency with indecency, propriety with impropriatory, love with hate and Christ with Obeah.

    Posted by peterbinose | May 25, 2013, 07:14

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