Trinidad and Tobago Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has described former United National Congress (UNC) stalwart and government minister Clifton De Coteau, who collapsed and died on Friday morning, as one of the nation’s “finest sons of the soil.”
The former Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, and Gender Youth and Child Development, who was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Moruga/Tableland in 2010 and served until 2015, died suddenly after returning home from purchasing newspapers.
In a statement issued after his death, Persad-Bissessar said the UNC had lost a friend, a brother, a father figure and, most of all, a patriot.
“Clifton was a true stalwart of the UNC, offering our members, and by extension, our nation, decades of committed service for the betterment of the people of T&T. Few people have had the distinguished honor of serving at all levels of our great party as Clifton did, a testament not only of his commitment to the UNC but dedication to our country,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar added that De Coteau’s service extended beyond politics.
“As a teacher, school principal and school supervisor, he was able to impact the lives of thousands of students throughout our nation. Coto had an impeccable work ethic. When he served as minister, he would be in his office by 5 a.m. each morning. That was his dedication and passion for service,” she said.