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Kingston, Jamaica, July 29, 2017: In a communique wrapping up their 2017 Annual Conference, the PNP’s Patriots has called for removal of the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Robert (Bobby) Montague, highlighting the emerging scandal at the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) as another worrying sign of the reckless disregard for procedures and the alleged selling of firearm licenses to criminals.

According to the Patriots’ new President, Omar Newell, Minister Montague’s attitude to national security puts the nation at risk and causes a sense of hopelessness across the society.

“With the murder rate skyrocketing and maneuvering fragile economy, there is no room for experimenting with Jamaica’s future,” Newell said.
When Minister Montague was sworn in as Minister of National Security he subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance, which states, in part, that he would act lawfully and perform his duties in accordance with good management of the public affairs of Jamaica, but Minister Montague’s stewardship of the Ministry of National Security is has provided evidence of violation of his Oath of Office, to defend the people of Jamaica. He has been derelict in his responsibility, and has forfeited his right to continue as Minister of National Security.

The Minister of National Security, Robert Montague has demonstrated his contempt for law and order by engaging a convicted felon to procure second-hand motor vehicles for the security force. The majority of which are yet to be delivered, despite millions of dollars handed over from the public purse.

“This same minister has been named as a major player in the corruption enabling mechanism cited by the Contractor General in the de-bushing programme where some $800 million has been expended with very little to show for it, except for major flooding in areas where drains were supposed to have been corrected and cleaned,” Newell bemoaned.

In that instance, the Office of the Contractor General stated categorically that the National Security Minister violated procurement rules by naming the contractor to be awarded under the de-bushing programme, provided information on the account to which payments should be made, and even whose name payment were to be made.

The Patriots believe that the emerging scandal the FLA, involving the selling of firearm licenses to criminals is further evidence that the security minister is operating under a banner of ineptitude, incompetence, corruption and recklessness; and does not have the safety and interest of Jamaica at heart.

“The security minister cannot continue to engage with criminal elements, offer Obeah men as a crime solving mechanism and support a board of political facilitators that rubber-stamps a system designed to put legal guns in the hands of criminals.

If Prime Minister Andrew Holness is still looking for evidence of Montague’s ineptitude, he needs look no further than the fact that he himself had to lead the Zones of Special Operations project, which is a direct show of his own lack of confidence in his own minister.
With the country’s murder rate as high as it is today, we call on the Prime Minister to relieve Minister Montague of this very important portfolio for the good of Jamaicans.