‘Don’t go, Mama D’
Supporters in Trelawny Southern urge Dalrymple-Philibert to reconsider resignation
Dark skies and rain on Monday did not deter scores of supporters from lining the streets of Albert Town, Trelawny, calling for Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert to withdraw her resignation as the Trelawny Southern member of parliament (MP).
Armed with placards bearing messages such as ‘Mama D, please come back’, and ‘Don’t go, Mama D’, the green-clad protesters opposed the four-term Jamaica Labour Party MP’s decision to relinquish the post.
“She is the best MP that South Trelawny ever see,” one constituent said resolutely, while others cried, “Come back!”
Triston Turner, the JLP’s caretaker for the Ulster Spring Division, joined the protesters in urging Dalrymple-Philibert to rethink her resignation.
“We are saying to Mama D, ‘This is not how you leave Trelawny’,” he said. “We took a day off [from work] today, Monday, the worst day to call a meeting, and we are here today because we are saying that we are going to take back this constituency again and again. Please, we are begging you, see that we are out here in the rain.”
Dalrymple-Philibert resigned her positions as House Speaker and MP last Thursday, saying that the Integrity Commission’s decision to have her face eight charges in relation to statutory deductions from 2015 to 2021 was taking a toll on her.
In a report that was tabled in Parliament last Tuesday, the commission said Dalrymple-Philibert omitted to include a Mercedes-Benz vehicle in her statutory declarations, and, therefore her declarations were inaccurate and incomplete.
On Monday, Collen Gager, the mayor of Falmouth and councillor for the Warsop division, pointed to several projects within Trelawny Southern as reasons for Dalrymple-Philibert to return as MP, even if she does not regain the Speaker position.
“We are asking that she be returned to us as our MP, and we are appealing to the MP to reconsider and, if possible, come back and serve us for at least another two years. We have ongoing roadworks right now, houses being built, two schools being built, a fire station on the way to be built, and the bridge in Troy for which preparation is being made, and all these and more are under the watch of Mama D, and we want to continue that legacy,” said Gager.
“We are saying, ‘This constituency is not up for grabs’, but we are saying to Mama D at this time, ‘Come back. You have strong councillors and a strong management team’.
“We are appealing publicly and saying that you can step down from the Speaker of the House, but stay as our member of parliament because all of us love you and you have done us no harm,” Gager added.
The protest took place one day after the opposition People’s National Party held its National Executive Council meeting in Albert Town, with businessman Fabian Davis ratified as its standard-bearer for Trelawny Southern.