The nominated Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) member to the Nevis Island Assembly, the Hon. Carlisle Powell told the Assembly on Monday that while the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) goes overseas to preach Unity, they are here in Nevis saying to NRP people, “You are fired!”
Powell noted that on August 29th, 1963 in Washington D.C the revered African-American civil rights leader, the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood before a crowd of 250,000 and spoke about injustices against race.
He stated as King did in his powerful, “I have a Dream” speech, nearly 50 years ago, “We (NRP) have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition going on here on Nevis.”
“We on the NRP side have come here to speak for the members and friends of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), who find themselves exiled, harassed, put out of work and persecuted in their own land,” commented Powell.
The shameful condition according to the Hon. Powell is the facts that while the Budget speak about the “destructive forces of divisiveness: The CCM government has maliciously targeted supporters of the NRP and fired at will.”
During his rebuttal to the 2013 Budget, Mr. Powell stated, “to be fair Mr. President, on the CCM campaign trail, the Premier and mover of the Bill stated publicly that, “We are not going to pick out you know, we will put out some people.”
It was noted by Powell that one of the first to be terminated was Mr. Pearlivan “Don” Wilkin, who is the brother-in-law to Junior Minister in the CCM -led Administration, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams.
During Hon. Williams’ maiden presentation in the House which preceded Hon. Powell, Hon. Brandy-Williams said she was very upset at how she was being made to look like a villain because her party had terminated her brother-in-law, Mr. Wilkin.
“I have done some research and I understand that Mr. Wilkin’s contract was ended on December 30th, 2012,” said Mrs. Williams. (Mr. Wilkin continued to work for the Administration after the January 22nd, 2013 election.)
In responding to Hon. Williams, the Hon. Powell said, “How could you, the sister-in-law of Mr. Wilkin, the aunt of his children, the sister of his wife could not prepare a new contract for Mr. Wilkin?”
“If my family was in a bad situation I would defend them and ensure that a new contract was put forth,” said Powell.
He commented, “This is cruel in the extreme!”
He also said that the former Premier, the Hon. Joseph Parry and the NRP did not fire Ms. Vernice Liburd known as Preddy, and according to Powell, “Preddy was not afraid to say that she supports the CCM party; but this vindictive government fired her daughter, Miss Lexine Tyson.”
The nominated NRP member named a number of terminated persons including Mrs. Ermine Queeley- Evelyn, who managed the Community Center in Combermere, and also made mention of Permanent Secretary Mr.Alstead Pemberton who was told to go on vacation while his brother-in- law was given his post.
Also included in the list were Mr. Floris Finley who worked at the Nevis airport, Ms.Dorette Daniel who worked as Director of the Nevis Craft House, and was terminated nearly 15 years ago by the same Premier Vance Amory when she was 7 months pregnant at the time, and was terminated again on February 15, 2013.
Other persons named were: Kelvin Archibald, Nicholas Williams, Laughton Browne, Davidson Morton, Tonya Powell, Lavina Parry, Spencer Hanley, Patrick Martin, Alex Claxton, Trevor Chapman, Sylvestor Gajor, Nigel Browne, Godwin Cornelius, Jennifer Jeffers and many more.
In conclusion, Hon. Powell asked. “Do you think that we didn’t know that there were CCM supporters working with the government when NRP were in office? Did we fire them? Did we harass them? No, because our policy was, all Nevisians must eat!”
He also cited the cases of the Hon. Brandy-Williams and Hon. Troy Liburd who were civil servants on Jan. 22 and Senators in the CCM government on Jan. 23.