Former Labour Senator, Raymond Roberts, who was publically endorsed on Sunday as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caretaker/candidate for the constituency of South St. George has appealed to the Christian community to support his cause.
Addressing scores of NDCites who converged at the legendary Camerhogne Park to witness his official endorsement, Sen. Roberts, who received a heart-warming welcome by the gathering, urged the island’s Christians to join in the battle to save Grenada.
Stating that members of the Christian Community are known to be “absolutely committed to what is good for the country then the NDC must be seen “as the vehicle to overcome the main hurdles” facing Grenada.
The event marked the first time that Sen. Roberts was officially appearing on a Congress platform to witness his entrance into frontline politics.
Sen. Roberts urged Grenadians to be mindful of the state the country is in under the rule of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his ruling New National Party (NNP).
“Watch the state of Grenada, open your eyes (and) look around…People, you must not refuse to recognise the challenges,” he said.
He also expressed the view that “some of us are doing so (refusing to recognise the challenges) conveniently”.
The new NDC Caretaker/Candidate also mentioned the spate of negative press that the country has been receiving in recent times, pointing out that “Grenada seems to have lost the ‘Isle of Spice’ (status) and has become the island where there is secrecy and corruption in just about everything.”
This is a clear reference to recent headline grabbing news about a businessman from Ukraine and the US$1 million allegedly paid for a Grenada diplomatic passport which was never received.
In an effort to woo voters to vote for NDC and against the Mitchell-led party, Sen. Roberts told the gathering that “if you are looking for a new Grenada, trust me we (NDC) will fix the thing.”
He stated that “if Grenada is to be a better society, Grenada deserves good and honest people to lead”.
“Brothers and sisters, we have good leaders in the NDC…the battle to overcome NNP corruption shall not be easy. Dismantling what I call the ‘state cabal’ shall be no easy task because greedy people entrenched in the ‘state cabal’ will do just about anything to keep state power,” he said.
A high-spirited resounding “yes” and rounds of applause rang from the crowd as they assured Roberts when he asked for their “full support” in the upcoming elections, that he can “count on them” and that they are indeed “ready for the challenge.”
“We must be committed to greater productivity, tolerance and above all, we must have the commitment that we can do it together,” he told the NDC’ities.
Sen. Roberts also spoke of his personal vision for the South, which he feels “ought to be the constituency that will develop standards for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
As he sought to persuade voters in the upcoming elections, the new NDC Caretaker gave the gathering some insight into his plans for the constituency and acknowledged the need to engage the youth in apprenticeship, as well as proposing the establishment of a skills training centre in Monte Tout, which will be geared at providing lasting youth empowerment.
Sen. Roberts also proposed the development of a new road network to help ease traffic congestion in the south especially in the area of St. George’s University and the enhancement of the medical centre located in the Limes, where he feels a doctor should operate daily in order to provide better services to residents in the south.
Sen. Roberts will be doing battle in the constituency against Health Minister, Nicholas Steele, the current Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George.
Steele who comes from a fairly wealthy family is moved to the south by Prime Minister Mitchell and NNP to make way for former Congress General Secretary Peter David to return to the city seat which he won in the 2003 and 2008 general elections.