Owner of Nice Radio Douglas DeFreitas has made a public apology to Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, one day after a caller to the radio station said that the minister is the owner of a shipping vessel that trades between St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
The caller, who identified herself as Monica Ross, a local trafficker, said that at the time of her call she was experiencing some difficulty while at the Traffickers Shed.
She said that as traffickers, they look for the market to sell their produce; however, for the Christmas week, they took time off because the market was âclogged upâ.
âIt is alleged that the Minister of Agriculture is who take the boat to Trinidad that mark Bonnie Enterprise. They offload in the market and our suppliers call us and tell us that they bring ginger by the box, eddoes by the boxâ¦ the boat is here again with the same produce, the same ginger, the same dasheen,â Ross said.
When asked by former Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, who was a guest in studio, who provided the produce, Ross said she did not know who the supplier of the produce was.
âWe donât know who the people [are], because they have it as a secretâ¦ Our supplier in Trinidad allegedâ¦that is the Minister of Agriculture who is doing that personally for himself.â
The following day, January 17, DeFreitas called in to the radio station and publicly apologized to the minister.
He stated that when dealing with issues which involve persons, he has a difficulty with some of the things that have happened on the radio station, which have caused the station to be sued several times.
âI want to apologize to Saboto Caesar on behalf of Monica Ross. She made a statement yesterday that Saboto bought boat; she has no proof of that and, she has a habit of calling peopleâs name,â DeFreitas said.
He also cautioned Ross against calling names in her contributions to the radio programme without proof.
âIf she has an issue and she wants to deal with an issue, deal with an issue. But, to accuse people of doing things that they have no proof of is not something that we could entertain. So, I am asking all the hosts who host the New Times programme and I am making it public, so it is in my public pronouncement. When you hear people calling peopleâs name with the requisite information, please cut them off the radio, because it is getting ridiculous.â
DeFreitas said the instances of name calling without proof have been getting to him and he is fed up of it.
Caesar, who is an attorney-at-law by profession, said he was aware that a statement had been made, but will give consideration to the issue at another time, since he was âbusy addressing more pressing matters as it relates to the further advancement of agriculture and fisheries in SVG.â
He concluded, however, that âloose lips sink ships.â