OPPOSITION Senator Taharqa Obika has apologised to the Senate for his behaviour on November 26 but not specifically to National Security Minister Stuart Young who he accused of being of a racist.
“Madame President when it comes to my action in question to all who have been offended, including Madame President, Mr Vice President, all members of the Senate and the people of my beloved nation I offer an unreserved and sincere apology and a commitment to uphold the sanctity that is the Senate in adherence to my oath,” he told the Senate on Wednesday.
The incident on November 26 began when Obika had risen on a standing order, apparently to challenge the relevance of Young’s contribution to a motion by Opposition Senator Wade Mark calling for Parliament to table the contract for the Government to purchase two Cape Class patrol vessels. Obika was evicted by Senate Vice President Nigel De Freitas and ejected from the chamber by the Parliament Marshal and a police office after he refused to sit down. He then accused Young of calling him an “a–hole” and of being a racist.
Senate President Christine Kangaloo declared that Obika had brought the Senate into “absolute disrepute” and ruled he must apologise for the incident.
Young in a text message to Newsday described the conduct of the senator as “disturbing and disappointing.” He said that toward the end of his contribution Obika began shouting “ask your step-daughter” at me, as he had done on many occasions before.
“As can be seen in the video recording of the incident, I ignored him. He continued raising his voice at me and then at others, including the presiding officer. What I found most offensive was his abusive shouting at Senator Baptiste-Primus that she must shut up. His screaming at me that I am racist is another example of unacceptable behaviour in Parliament. At all times as the record would reflect, he is the provocateur seeking to disrespect me and interrupt my contributions.”
Obika in a previous telephone interview with Newsday said Young accused the Opposition of spreading lies and he stood up on a standing order as he was entitled.
LINK ORIGINAL: News day