Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika

BACKED DOWN: Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika reads his apology at yesterday’s sitting of the Upper House in Parliament. —Photo courtesy The Office of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago

In backing down from his hold-fast stance not to apologise, United National Congress (UNC) Senator Tahar­qa Obika yesterday apologised “unreservedly” to the Senate, the Senate president and vice-president and the people of Trinidad and Tobago for his behaviour last week Tuesday.

That day in the Senate, an angry Obika repeatedly called National Se­curity Minister Stuart Young a “racist” after claiming Young had called him an “ass----”, a claim which was not supported by the Han­sard record.

Obika’s complete disregard and disobedience for the chair (Vice-President Nigel De Freitas) led to him being ordered to leave the Chamber, and eventually being escorted out by police.

When Senate President Christine Kangaloo ruled he had to apologise for his conduct at the next sitting of the Senate, Obika had told the Express then that he was not going to apologise, unless Young did so first.

However, yesterday, in a personal explanation, Obika said: “Madam President, when it comes to my action in question, to all who have been offended, including Madam 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 and adherence to my oath.”


THE first tremor of an earthquake within the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago leadership took place last night, when Tracy Davidson-Celestine became the first female political leader of the PNM’s Tobago Island Council, dethroning Kelvin Charles in the historic run-off.