GISL head Andy Johnson's decision to leave the "First Up" show is an embarrassment for the Government since Johnson was described as the best person for the job and was heavily promoted as new host over the weekend, said former host Fazeer Mohammed yesterday.
Mohammed was commenting on Monday's move by Johnson away from the show after hosting it for a few days after Mohammed was removed as host. This was followed by a storm of controversy and criticism of the Government, Ali, Johnson and Minister Suruj Rambachan (whose interview with Mohammed preceded his removal). Former media worker Hema Ramkisson appeared on the show yesterday morning alongside co-anchor Jessie-May Ventour. Explaining his departure, Johnson said the stint had been undertaken on the understanding it was only temporary and he would have determined the length of time he would have stayed on it.
Although Johnson said on Monday he had left the show, that day CEO Ali had said there were "no changes to the show." However, Minister in charge of CNMG Rodger Samuel confirmed Johnson's post had been only temporary and no decision had been taken on a permanent anchor for the show. Yesterday, former host Mohammed said Johnson's swift departure was embarrassing for Government since interim CNMG head, Ken Ali, had touted him as being the best person for the job.
Mohammed added: "It's disappointing that Andy, who I've known for a very long time, would have been in a situation like this in the first place. "It was obviously very awkward for him, being a Government employee. He was put in a compromising position and clearly he could only take so much." "Despite what transpired over the last week or so we remain very good friends. This issue has had no bearing whatsoever on that relationship."
Mohammed added: "For him to take his leave so quickly has reinforced the suspicion that the authorities were simply making it up as they went along, so to speak. "If all that was said–about my departure being in the works for sometime and Andy coming on board as host was true–then the events of the last couple days would not have transpired.
"I'll let the facts speak for themselves. It will prove whether I was speaking the truth or not," Mohammed added. COP chairman Joseph Toney, whose party last week called for Mohammed's reinstatement, said from day one of the issue there was confusion up to Johnson's departure.