Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, used his weekly press conference on Monday to fire back at Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, after the Minister lashed out at him and described him as the Doctor of Doom during a sitting of the National Assembly last week.
Mr. Jagdeo dismissed Trotman’s criticism and said he has never seen Trotman as anything more than mediocre.
“You know my view on Trotman. He has been a mediocre Lawyer, a mediocre Speaker and now a mediocre Minister. And this is not the first time I am saying this”, Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader said his party has been trying to deal with serious issues in the National Assembly and will not be bothered by attacks from the Government. With regards to the Petroleum Bill, which was being debated in the National Assembly when Trotman fired off at him, Mr. Jagdeo said he made points that were important but didn’t expect the government to take them serious because of its problems with him.
Jagdeo told reporters that under the proposed legislation, too much power will be given to the Minister of Natural Resources in his oversight of the oil and gas industry that Guyana is preparing to see blossom.
“Forget professionalism and forget anything else, this is about Trotman and the industry”, he noted, while pointing out that the PPP while in Government for 23 years did not put together a “full fledge” department to focus on petroleum because it depended on the experience of the hydro power department of the Geology and Mines Commission. He said the PPP always knew that once oil was discovered, there would have been the need to set up specific legislation and a specific department.
During last Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly, the debate on the Petroleum Bill appeared became passionate after the Minister of Natural Resources lashed out at the Opposition Leader over his criticism of the way Government was preparing for the oil industry.
Trotman said he would prefer to take a lecture from other members of the Opposition than to ever take one from Jagdeo, describing the former President as a “relic” and a “failure”, who overlook several failed projects during his 12 years as President.
The PPP believes the attack on its leader was unwarranted and was surprised that the Speaker of the National Assembly allowed it.