Charlestown, Nevis – Former Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry led a four-person team of Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) executives who met by invitation with the Nevis Christian Council (NCC) and the Nevis Evangelical Association (NEA) to discuss reconciliation among residents of Nevis. The meeting took place at the Methodist Manse in Charlestown on Wednesday, February 12.
Chairman of the Christian Council, Father Alric Francis, who led the talks, affirmed that “the island of Nevis needs reconciliation,” He claimed that politics is at an extreme high and it is harming the island.
“Politics is separating the people of Nevis and this is why I have called the pastors and religious leaders from across the island, along with the politicians from both the NRP and Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) to get together for healing on Nevis,” Father Francis said.
He said that he and other religious leaders have prepared for non-denominational prayer services in Charlestown at the War Memorial square, which was held on Friday afternoon (Feb. 14).
“We met with pastors a few Wednesdays ago to discuss the state of affairs in Nevis presently. We also met with members of the CCM Cabinet last Friday and I spoke with Ms. Carlyn Lawrence who explained her plight of losing her job as manager of the Nevis Solid Waste Department. I want to understand what are the real issues in the termination of Nevisians under the present CCM government,” said Father Francis.
The Hon. Joseph Parry seized the opportunity to discuss the history of the political problems in Nevis under the present (CCM), and during a previous CCM Administration.
He said it was important to note that the problems of politics and tribalism did not start in Nevis yesterday. The former premier noted how the CCM fired people during the 90’s including Hastings Daniel, Dorette Daniel and Christine Springette. According to the Hon. Joseph Parry, the CCM has a history of terminating persons unfairly.
“When I came into government in 2006, I could have fired people unfairly, merely because they did not vote for me but what would that have achieved? I was not the Premier for NRP or CCM but for all Nevisians, and it would be wicked of me to just get into government and dismiss people simply because they did not vote for me,” commented Parry.
He said he understood that the CCM have said that two persons that we (NRP) terminated were Boswell Arthurton and Rodney Elliott. “Boswell is a cousin of mine on both sides of my family. Mr. Boswell sought renewal of his contract and it was granted on two occasions,” he firmly stated.
With the issue of Rodney Elliott, Parry said she was not paying some bills and using the government canteen. He went on to state that on several occasions he asked her to pay the bills so that she would not be removed from the canteen. “She did not pay after numerous letters and discussions with me personally,” commented Parry. She was then removed from the canteen and then the Hon. Joseph Parry assisted her financially to start her own restaurant. In addition, it was the Hon. Parry who assisted Ms. Elliott’s grandson financially with medical assistance in Barbados and then Miami, in his capacity as Premier.
Former Deputy Premier, Mr. Hensley Daniel outlined that many people were treated badly by this CCM government and reconciliation by Nevisians towards the CCM led Administration will not be easy.
“Today, many Nevisians are out of work and cannot pay their mortgages or live a life they were accustomed to and many are unable to take care of their children well. Reconciliation would be very difficult at this time, unless the CCM give these people back their jobs or some other beneficial accommodations are made quickly,” said Mr. Daniel.
The NRP agreed that such dialogue is important and they said they will continue on an ongoing basis to meet with the Nevis Christian Council and the Evangelical Association, in a bid for reconciliation across the island.