JAMAICA Labour Party (JLP) Deputy Leader Dr Chris Tufton yesterday encouraged the Opposition party to focus fully on providing leadership for the country which, he said, is facing increasing uncertainties and potential crisis.
"Jamaicans don't feel safe and secure in their country, and it's not just about crime, but also about their jobs, businesses, health care, education, access to water and other public utilities," Tufton told delegates and party workers at the annual general meeting of the JLP's Area Council Four held in Troy, South Trelawny.
"Fifty years after Independence, the public tendency is to blame all political parties and politicians for what we have become," Tufton said. "This is an indictment on the leadership of the country, and the JLP must assert itself and show that it is united and can provide leadership in these times of challenges."
He said the Opposition should not allow Jamaicans to believe that there is no alternative in the JLP.
"We must start by seeing the solutions within ourselves. First and foremost, all Labourites must be given an opportunity to contribute to the development and building of their party and country, and no Labourite should be seen as having more rights than any other," said Tufton.
"We must never allow the opposition or anybody else to brand or put Labourites in cliques or groups, as this is a divide-and-conquer strategy that will make the party weak and unable to provide solutions to the country."
Labourites, Tufton said, "should reject any attempts to brand them as brown and black Labourite, uptown and downtown Labourite, young and old Labourite, never left and left-and-return Labourite, just-come and old-time Labourite, PNP or NDM Labourite. In the name of Bustamante, and his belief in equal rights and justice, all Labourites must be equal and given an opportunity to serve their party, community and country," he said.
"The country is waiting to exhale as it hopes for solutions from the Labour Party. As officers, workers and delegates, let's not let them down," Tufton said.