Chairman of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) D. Gisele Isaac has made it clear that she will not withdraw statements she mad e last week during a live programme on the popular radio show, The Snake pit.
The statements were made in response to opposition supporters who expressed concern over the decision of their party leader, Harold Lovell, to sit with government ministers during a banquet to mark the official opening of the fourth landed campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) last Tuesday.
According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, during the banquet he asked Lovell about earlier statements made by Isaac where she suggested that establishing the fourth landed campus of UWI at the Five Islands complex would water down the UWI brand.
Browne claimed that Lovell had distanced himself from the UPP chair, saying she did not speak for the entire party.
He also posted these sentiments on his Facebook page.
The prime minister’s post apparently caused UPP supporters to question their leader’s action.
Last Thursday, Isaac said if parliamentarians sitting together is causing such an
upset, perhaps parties should simply “break up into tribes” and “start killing each other like the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda.”
She further drove home her point by saying, “I have some people I’d like to kill, just give me licence, let me start. If that is what we want of our society, tell me now so I can start the ball rolling.”
Prim e Minister Browne has since condemned Isaac’s statements as “outrageous and seditious.”
He has also called on her to apologise.
Browne reiterated his position yesterday radio, saying, “in order to protect those who she wishes to liquidate she must commit suicide…I have said that before you go and kill a multitude of people, commit suicide. I do not make any apologies for that.”
He also called for the opposition UPP to disassociate itself from the statement.
While UPP political leader Harold Lovell could not be reached for comment, Isaac declared on yesterday’s Voice of the People that she was “advocating for maturity and for commonsense to prevail.
“They want to take apart of it and make it a political weapon. There is nothing I can do about that; that is their [modus operandi] … I walked Saturday, I walked Sunday, I went to church; not one soul ran from me because they thought I was going to kill them, not one.”
The chairman claims that the prime minister is diverting from addressing real issues like the deplorable condition of the Antigua State College (ASC) and the water situation on the island.
Isaac accused the prime minister of using the army and the police as his “personal weapon” to make up rules and laws where there are none, to control the narrative of her statement.
“This is just another red herring dragged over the trail,” she said, “The issues remain. Not a soul has anything to fear from me in Antigua, other than what I say and what I write. I have never committed a violent act in my life.” (DAILY OBSERVER)