The main Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has for the first time reacted officially to the much talked about “Project Grenada’’ initiative that is being promoted by the two-year old ruling New National Party (NNP) Government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
“Project Grenada” was first bandied about by trade unionist Chester Humphrey, one of nine persons expelled from Congress in late 2012 to describe the association forged between the NDC Rebels and the ruling party.
Another expelled member, former General Secretary Peter David who is now a Government Senator is said to have advocated the need for one party to be allowed to run the affairs of Grenada for at least 15 years without any general elections being held.
Over the months, a number of NDC officials have blasted the initiative as a scheme aimed at turning Grenada into a one-party state under NPP hegemony.
During a recent public meeting of NDC held at The Cliff at Woburn, St. George’s, the party’s Political Leader, Nazim Burke took some time to define the meaning of Project Grenada as advocated by his former political colleagues.
According to Sen. Burke, Project Grenada is geared at having the country remain under the rule of the NNP which will ultimately make Grenada become a one-party State.
He said that another facet of Project Grenada is to try and discredit the NDC Leadership as a means of minimising any opposition as part of the strategy to create a one-party State.
The third aspect of Project Grenada, according to the Congress Leader is to have State control of all arms of the media including the leadership of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG).
Another desire of the promoters of Project Grenada is to controlState Institution like the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Integrity Commission, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections, and the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
Sen. Burke told party supporters that another objective of the promoters of the scheme is Political Manipulation of the state-controlled Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU) that is headed by the husband of a female government minister.
He cited other objectives as seeking to ensure that all the economic benefits go to the NNP supporters, as well as to try and silence those who oppose the NNP by enticing them with prominent positions and to target the youth of the nation for electoral purposes.
Sen. Burke said the young people are strategically given a monthly stipend by the Mitchell-led regime with the clear objective of trying to get them to not support NDC.
He also argued that the proponents of Project Grenada is bent on using the scheme to continue the long established culture of having the people depend on Politicians rather than encouraging the people to stand on their own two feet, or promoting self reliance.
The Congress Leader also accused the persons behind the ploy of trying to maintain the continued influence of the NNP on some of the key organisations in the country.
Since coming into office in February 2013, the Mitchell-led government has been courting members of the Civil Society grouping to play a part in the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that is seeking to address Grenada’s severe financial and economic problems.
Burke claimed that the people who are talking about this philosophy of Project Grenada are not able to explain what it is all about and sees it as nothing but a slogan with no one knowing what it really means.
He said he believes that the promoters of the scheme are bent on having the meaning remain a mystery, adding that the time has long passed for Prime Minister Mitchell and his allies like David and Humphrey to tell the people the truth about Project Grenada.
During his Independence Day message at the military parade at Queen’s Park, St. George’s, PM Mitchell stated that Project Grenada means “all for one and one for all”.
The NDC Political Leader made it clear that his party will have no part to play in Project Grenada as Congress is not for sale.
“We say we are opposed to Project Grenada because we believe… that all who are in Office must show integrity,” he said.
NDC has been trying to rebound following its massive 15-0 defeat at the polls two years ago at the hands of the Mitchell-led NNP.