Some Jamaicans support Green's decision to step down as minister after viral videoThursday, September 16, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
SOME Jamaicans yesterday endorsed Member of Parliament Floyd Green's decision to resign from the Cabinet after he was seen in a video with several others breaching COVID-19 safety protocols allegedly during a no-movement day.
The individuals, who were seen in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, expressed disappointment at Green's action, noting that he holds a leadership position and was setting a bad example for others.
Twenty-two-year-old Kadeem Green told the Jamaica Observer that the former minister's action depicts the inequality between the privileged and poor Jamaicans.
“First of all, he was mocking the whole no-movement day because he was there toasting to it and laughing. Also, he is doing something that many poor people would get locked up for. For example, the man who said him na go in, you realise that the next day they found him and locked him up and asked him to apologise to the prime minister. Green should resign because he is not setting a good example for the people, and you can't have somebody like that in politics,” he said.
A 25-year-old who gave her name only as Tia agreed, noting that the video made a mockery of the COVID-19 measures implemented by the Government to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Nobody is above the law. So, as a minister, why would he want to violate or go against the regulations set for the country? Others are in lockdown and dem a feel it. He is basically showing the world that he can do what him want. Everybody already feel oppressed. Him must gwan,” she said.
And 29-year-old Forbes added: Yes, him fi resign, because we haffi lock up while dem and dem friend a have fun. Me nu think it fair at all, because a dem suppose to a set example and a dem a go against it. We afi deh home and certain opportunities we afi miss. Dem and dem fren round table and a laugh and a have fun. That cya right.”
At the same time, others on social media weighed in on the matter, suggesting that his decision to resign was accountability for his actions.
One Twitter user shared that she was devastated because Green performed well as minister of agriculture and fisheries.
“As a farmer, I'm heartbroken. He had the [agriculture] sector on a clear path to recovery. We now sit in dread, wondering if a washed-up person will replace him. But the right thing was done as the country is on a war footing the coronavirus. Glad he resigned, it saved his political career,” the woman said.
Another Twitter user argued that, although Green was wrong, another alternative could have been used to address the matter.
“What he did was wrong, no question asked, and he should be held accountable, but not fired. This young man has been working very hard for the country, and is one of the best agriculture ministers to be appointed. Why throw out the baby with the bath water?” the woman said.
But a Facebook user added: “Man it break my heart. You were one of the decent politicians, but I guess we all have our weakness, but if they were your friends, the video wouldn't be out in public. Hope you learn your lesson.”
Also on the the video are Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor for the Mona Division in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, Andrew Bellamy, and Green's assistant, Gabrielle Hylton, who is also vice-president of the JLP National Organisation for Women.
In the video Green and his colleagues were seen sharing in a toast and uttering shouts of “no-movement day” and “Shower Labourite”, while seated at a table boasting bottles of Moet, Red Bull, and other refreshments and food items.
It was alleged that the gathering was at a hotel in St Andrew in celebration of Hylton's birthday on Tuesday, which was a no-movement day.
Additionally, of all the attendees seen in the video, an unidentified female was wearing a mask, but it was placed on her chin.
The former minister of agriculture and fisheries announced his resignation in a release yesterday morning, but will remain as Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South West.