OPENING her criticism to Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me”, executive member of the Peoples’ National Congress (PNC), Simona Broomes took to social media on Friday to decry the divisions being stoked in her party, while also initiating a running commentary on the PNC’s time in public office.
Broomes was seemingly close to tears when she called on those watching her live video on Facebook to tag senior members of the party, whom she named, including former President David Granger. “Let us play tag!” the notoriously spunky businesswoman urged.
The PNC is currently in the process of observing its 21st Biennial Congress, an opportunity for the party to look more critically at its leaders and elect new ones.
Broomes, a former government minister and member of parliament, had spent the five-year stint of the PNC-dominated A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), shifting between portfolios, owing to internal conflicts within the government at the time.
More specifically, Broomes, who rose to prominence as a vocal activist celebrated internationally for her work in countering human trafficking, served as Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, and finally as Minister within the Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for youth affairs, all between May 2015 and August 2020.
In her live video commentary on Friday, Broomes expressed shock at what she felt was the new-found energy of her party colleagues in the race for party leadership. “I would have loved to see PNC comrades allowing that energy to flow while we were sitting in office,” she said, adding:
“Oppressors you call it!” making no bones about how she felt as she lamented the attitude of her party’s senior members while in government. “They sit in their office, and they sit upon your shoulder. You build them up and they trample you!” she said, adding:
“I was purposeful in my actions in office to be out there,” in obvious reference to her approach of connecting with the people while in office.
She hinted that it was her actions that set the standard which now puts current party activists “in the pressure! So, they now got to be out there.”
Using language reminiscent of Burnham-era government policies, Broomes called for her party leaders to “produce or perish”.
She said the party’s biennial congress is set every two years, according to that party’s constitution, and members should know who they are prepared to support for leadership, based on their previous performance.
Surprisingly, the PNC executive member cautioned her party members to not criticise the Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) when there are internal issues to be dealt with.
“Put yuh house in order,” she said, adding: “Yuh better tek de beam out yuh eye before yuh look fah tek de speck out yuh neighba own! If you were on the ground, you would have known what is going on with your constituency; you would know they are hungry, they are jobless, they are hopeless. You would know it’s not an easy road!”
The PNC yesterday opened the nomination process at the party’s Congress Place, Sophia headquarters for key leadership positions.