He made that suggestion in the House of Assembly on Monday while accusing the parliamentary Opposition of lacking the same zeal to encourage public vaccination as they did with opposing his controversial ministerial political advisors.
The Premier said he was referring to half of the four members that make up the Opposition. He did not call any member by name but Opposition Leader Marlon Penn and Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull have both publicly criticised government’s decision to hire the advisors.
“They went out and lobbied to every radio station they had. If a dog was passing, they would have talked to it,” Fahie said. “[But] I had never seen some of that same 50 percent [of Opposition members] went out there and championed the cause against COVID-19 and asked people to be vaccinated with that same zeal, or tell those who were not vaccinated to make sure that you improve your immune system. They didn’t [go] out with that same zeal,” he charged.
The Premier argued that Opposition members stayed on the proverbial ‘safe side’ for the sake of electoral votes since a majority of persons were against the vaccine.
Fahie said the Opposition suddenly became vaccination ‘ambassadors’ after COVID-19 deaths in the territory began to escalate.
“That’s good. I like that,” the Premier said. “But you still have some things on your hand from your behaviour that could have been avoided.”
The Premier further recalled being more diplomatic when he was in the Opposition. He said could have disagreed with the former National Democratic Party (NDP) government on many occasions when he was in the Opposition but sometimes chose to side with them because he felt it was the principled thing to do.
Fahie said he recalled being asked to accompany former Premier Dr D Orlando Smith on a trip to the UK to deal with public registers of beneficial ownership and other issues.
“We went in meetings and there were times in meeting that if I wanted, I could have taken a lead and go in a different angle, but we were there together,” the Premier said.
He insisted that there are times when a principle needs to be established for rules for engagement of war. “You can’t try to get power at all costs,” Premier Fahie warned.