Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has weighed in on the recent statement on WINNFM which singled out Nigerian residents in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Describing it as “shocking,” Prime Minister Douglas declined to repeat the statement by a supporter of Dr. Timothy Harris’ Unity construct.
“His frustration at some in our Federation not sharing his views, his interest in performing certain terrible acts himself .and his confidence that there are the means in our Federation to transform his twisted dream into reality. The call, of course, was shocking,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He added that what was equally shocking “was the fact that the WINN-FM host (Duncan Wattley) allowed this caller to make his case, to expand upon his gory desires and to paint this shockingly twisted and alien portrait to the people of our Federation over the course of some 100 seconds. This is utterly reprehensible,” Prime Minister Douglas during Tuesday’s “Ask the Prime Minister.”
He pointed out that for the past several months, there are persons who have been insisting that St. Kitts and Nevis is in crisis.
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says we are not; the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank says we are not; the Commonwealth says we are not; the men and women working at the many major investment projects we have brought to this country say we are not; those who have gotten – and are getting – free, Government-provided skills training and associated employment say we are not. But they, the particular few, insist that in crisis is where, indeed, we are,” said Prime Minister, who gave details of comments of incitement by top officials and associates of Timothy Harris’ Unity construct.
“One Opposition Candidate, the PAM candidate for Constituency #1 has proclaimed to the nation – on radio, and repeatedly – that he understands why some people strap bombs to their bodies and go into public buildings, why, he says, some people decide to become suicide bombers. This is the view of the PAM candidate for East Basseterre, Mr. Ian “Patches” Liburd,” said Dr. Douglas.
“This kind of talk, when combined with the type of statement which WINNFM allowed to be played last week, must not be taken lightly. But it does not end there. Another vocal opponent of the government, who served as a minister in the Simmonds-led PAM Administration has also let the country know – again, on air – that in his view, the best way to resolve this country’s political differences would be for everyone to go lethal extremes (which I shall not repeat here), and that the winner will be the last man standing,” said Dr. Douglas.
He also referred to another committed opponent of his Government, who once also served in that same Government, delights in telling Kittitians and Nevisians – again, on air – just how many people the Chairman of the recently formed Opposition party killed when he served in the U.S. military.
“In fact, the Chairman, Mr. Duncan Wattley,” said the Prime Minister.
“This is sick. We have all heard these comments over the months, and we all listened calmly. But there have been too many of them now. And we, as a Government and a people, have to make that clear,” Prime Minister Douglas told listeners.
Prime Minister Douglas again reiterated that the recent call on WINNFM last week was not a case of some person getting on the line and suddenly blurting something irrational in a 4 or 6 second burst.
“WINNFM allowing last week’s caller to take his time, and make his case, over the course of 100 seconds. In the world of radio, listeners, that is a very, very long time – and WINNFM allowing that, Ladies and Gentlemen, in combination with all of the other statements by all of the other crisis-promoters, over the past several months, was the last straw,” said Dr. Douglas.
“Exactly what effect was that other anti-Government radio host (Michael Oliver Powell), who also served in the Simmonds-led PAM Administration, trying to have when he let the public know – on air – while discussing the political rivalries in this country, that he “knows where certain people live”?
“This is not us. And this is not going to be us,!” said the prime minister.
“Our politics are dramatic, yes. Energized, yes. But there are places we, in St. Kitts and Nevis, simply do not go. And nobody is going to push us there. Death and killing have never, ever been a part of this country’s political lexicon, and every citizen and resident must roundly and resolutely condemn and reject these people for their repeated raising of these themes,” said Dr. Douglas, who said that some civil society entities are silent.
“The Bar Association needs to let the country what it thinks about all of these statements, in general, and WINNFM having allowed the caller to make his case last week, in particular. The Christian Council needs to let us know whether it thinks that these statements are simply a matter of free speech, or whether it thinks that they are toxic and dangerous. The Evangelical Association has been silent to the best of my knowledge. Is this okay with you, Sirs? How about the Chamber of Industry and Commerce? How about the Hotel and Commerce Association,?” asked the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
Dr. Douglas noted that WINNFM has a delay mechanism which it did not use. “In addition, the station has pre-set sound effects to block offensive statements by callers and this, also, was not used. It was only after the deed had already been done that the host then put forward some by-then-utterly- meaningless homilies about the need to be careful with what we say. Political violence has no place in St. Kitts and Nevis. None. And neither the Government nor the people will stand for it,” the prime minister said.
He also noted that Radio stations have been airing male asking Dr. Timothy Harris to care for the families of those who are now ready to make themselves “martyrs” to advance his cause.
“As a Government and a people, we have worked too hard, and achieved too much, to allow a handful of people –people who desperately need a crisis – to create one. And so, I once again remind each of the aforementioned organizations – The time to speak is now!” said Prime Minister Douglas.