Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has come out in strong condemnation of what he felt were attempts by the Opposition Leader, Marlon Penn, to achieve greater political power.
Dr Wheatley said he has been concerned about Penn’s stance regarding the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and said he was unsure who is advising the Opposition Leader.
“I would advise my cousin and friend – the Leader of the Opposition – to take a more patriotic view as it pertains to the COI. Don’t be so anxious for the BVI to lose what our ancestors and fore-parents worked hard for,” Dr Wheatley said.
“And you want to assist [the COI] and going out promoting all types of things in the public because you can’t wait to get your hands on that power,” he stated.
“The COI has not come for VIP (Virgin Islands Party), they’ve come for really the BVI,” Dr Wheatley warned. “And if we are not abundantly careful, all that our ancestors worked hard for will be lost.”
Dr Wheatley said the Opposition Leader was going out of his way to endorse every single conclusion the COI was trying to reach, including claims that there is potential corruption in the BVI.
“You see, the Leader of the Opposition pushing that view strongly – with very weak evidence, by the way,” the Deputy Premier added.
According to Dr Wheatley, the COI has also been pushing the conclusion that there is bullying and victimisation taking place in the BVI.
“When the COI is saying we have problems with our [statutory] boards and you come out and agree, [and say] ‘yes, we have problems on the board’, we have to ask ourselves; as Leader of the Opposition, whether you actually want to assist those who want to take our autonomy away from us, all because you have declared that you want to be the Premier right now and [are] willing to do anything for that to take place,” the Deputy Premier stated.
Just recently, Penn stated that he is ready to be Premier.
“The type of approach he has taken to every situation is to minimise the positive and to maximise the negative and to oppose for opposing sake,” Dr Wheatley said. “It’s not a VIP or NDP issue, it’s an issue that we all have to work together on.”
Notwithstanding his comments, Dr Wheatley said while he has been critical of Penn in recent weeks, it’s not because he doesn’t love him. “That’s my cousin and we’ll always be friends and we’ll always get along,” the Deputy Premier stated.
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