By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
CENTRAL and South Abaco MP James Albury said yesterday he believed his calling for an inquiry into the burial of 55 Hurricane Dorian victims over the weekend was blown out of proportion, saying he was just seeking to gain more answers about the matter on behalf of his constituents.
He said calls for his resignation from the Progressive Liberal Party were just attempts to politicise the situation.
Speaking to reporters outside the House of Assembly yesterday, he said: “Well, I think this is one of those cases where the reception kinda over blew what my intention was.
“I was just expressing some concerns on behalf of my constituents. It’s something I’ve discussed with the prime minister… the prime minister understood my concerns and it’s a very straight-forward matter.”
Asked yesterday about those concerns, he replied: “My concerns were just mainly getting an understanding. It was not to cast aspersions or blame on anyone. It’s more about just seeking answers rather than casting blame and that’s all I was looking for.”
This comes after Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis called for Mr Albury’s resignation as parliamentary secretary over the matter.
Mr Albury, responding to the opposition’s calls for his resignation, told reporters that he believed the move was meant to cause mischief between him and his political colleagues.
“I think that’s trying to politicize something that’s very apolitical in nature,” he said yesterday.
“It just seems to be a pure political move with no reasonable grounds for it, trying to artificially create some sort of wedge between myself and the party and the prime minister.
“…If you would’ve read my letter, it was not any sort of derogatory and inflammatory way and I certainly never would’ve meant it to come across as such. That is what it is at this moment and I’m satisfied right now with the way things are and hopefully moving forward, we’ll continue to learn from the process.”
After Mr Albury called for an inquiry into the burial of the Dorian victims, the Disaster Reconstruction Authority held a press conference on Sunday, outlining steps leading up to the controversial service.
Friday’s ecumenical service was marred with controversy as some residents protested the event and were angered that due to social distancing guidelines, many who lost loved ones could not grieve properly.
However, for his part, the Central and South Abaco MP said he was pleased with the DRA’s press conference, adding he believed it provided helpful information to bereaved families in Abaco.
“I’d like to say I’m very happy with the way the DRA press conference went recently, and I think there was a lot of good answers and information there and moving forward, it’s all about understanding the process and what we learned.”
“And as we move forward, being prepared for the next time.
However, it is not clear if he is still pursuing an official inquiry into the matter, with Mr Albury telling reporters that the matter is no longer in his hands.
Asked about the issue yesterday, he replied: “I was looking for answers and what I will say is the DRA’s press conference did answer a lot of those questions so as far as me calling for an inquiry, that was more seeking answers which I believe we’ve gotten, and we will continue to get.”
Further pressed on whether he will continue to pursue an inquiry, he replied: “That’s not beyond my power — all I’m saying is I’m happy the way the DRA handled the press conference.”