Trinidadians do not want Jack Warner to resign from his ministerial post

Dear Editor,

Reference is made to your editorial (June 24) on Jack Warner, the Minister of Works and Transport in Trinidad  and FIFA Vice –  President who resigned a week ago amidst allegations of wrongdoing.

The findings of an ongoing NACTA opinion poll in Trinidad reveal widespread support for the resignation of the controversial football official.  However, at the same time, an overwhelming majority of the nation feels he should not resign as Minister of Works and Transport, describing him as the best minister in the government.

The survey interviewed 368 respondents to reflect the demographics of the population. Asked if they support Jack Warner’s resignation from FIFA, 78% said yes. Some say he should have resigned from FIFA when he became minister a year ago.  Many, however, lament Warner’s resignation pointing out that he is singularly responsible for elevating the status of football for T&T and the Caribbean region. Some respondents feel Jack should have fought allegations of wrongdoing to clear his name instead of resigning. But almost everyone is in agreement that Jack’s resignation is a gain for T&T saying he can now devote more time to serving his ministry and the government.

The three main newspapers in Trinidad have been critical of Warner and called for his resignation as government minister.  But public opinion sharply disagrees with the newspapers.

Impromptu polls by the newspapers in Trinidad found overwhelming support for Jack as has the poll being conducted by NACTA.

Asked if they feel Jack should resign as minister in light of new FIFA revelations of allegations against him, 73% in the NACTA poll said no, describing him as the best minister in the government and the best MP.  In his Chaguanas West constituency, almost everyone is supportive of Jack describing him as the best representative in the history of the area. In supporting Jack, respondents say serving as FIFA Vice – President and being a minister in Trinidad are separate positions and are not linked to one another, and they don’t feel he should be punished by Trinidad for FIFA business.
The newspaper polls found larger majorities supportive of Warner in man-in-the-street queries.

The poll also asked respondents to name the best performing chairperson of a state board.  The Public Transport Chair, Devant Maharaj, under Jack Warner’s tutelage, leads with people saying he is competent and efficient like his minister, Jack Warner.  Coincidentally, the Prime Minister has removed Transport from Warner’s ministry and giving it to new Minister Devant Maharaj.

Not many people are familiar with names of the chairs of the state corporations. Among other chairs who got good ratings were George Nicholas of Caribbean Airlines, Jerlean John of Housing, Neil Gosine of Energy, etc.

The NACTA poll also queried voters on the leadership contest in the Congress of the People with voting scheduled for Sunday.  The findings of the tracking survey show a race looming as a battle between Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar and Sports Minister Anil Roberts who is making gains, giving the front runner a run for his money.  The other two candidates, Vice – Chairman Vernon Delima and animal rights activist Nalini Dial, are trailing way behind.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram

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