The National Students’ Council (NSC) has said that it is ‘very taken aback’ by recent developments involving the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Doctor Ubaldus Raymond.
Raymond is at the centre of a scandal involving nude photographs, allegedly of him, that were leaked on social media along with extracts of an alleged WhatsApp conversation between the minister and an 18 year old female who attends Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.
“As a body which serves to bridge a divide between government and students, can we not expect a better example from our leaders?” The NSC said in a statement released to the Times today.
According to the student organization, in a time where there is an evident search for identity, young persons must have sound role models to lead them in ‘savory’ directions.
It said that regardless of the situation, students deserve their peers and government to support them emotionally as opposed to further tearing them down.
The NSC called for government services to aim at providing support and guidance to the female student who is at the centre of the scandal with the minister in this time of evident need.
The young woman was arrested and charged for blackmail amid allegations that she threatened to expose the minister if she was not paid.
Raymond issued a statement declaring,among other things, that he would bot be bullied.
Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, just this week warned against a rush to judgement in the case, asserting that an there is a pending investigation and a court matter.
“As soon as the details are available to me and I can make a decision we will make that decision, but up until now I have to allow the court to take its process,” he said when asked whether Raymond will step down or be asked to resign.
The NSC said in its statement today that in recent months, the use of social media to embarrass and disgrace young persons has become a rampant trend with an ever expanding range of victims.
“ We can only hope and pray that the life of this young woman will not be greatly affected by the negative attention this unfortunate situation may attract,” the statement said.
The student group urged the public and students to refrain from further hurtful remarks about the student involved.
“ If we as students and young people do not decide on our own to elevate our thinking and our mindsets, we become simply statistics, destined only to the harsh realities of society. We need to continually embody the change we wish to see in order to inspire change from those who observe us. This is not a call only for peace or justice, it has become a call for lives and change. If we are a kingdom divided against ourself how can we stand?” The NSC said.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the individuals implicated who themselves have been the subject of ridicule. We urge students, leaders and all Saint Lucians to rise above our circumstance and accept the challenge to change.”