Burke: This is not a time for building tensions

In the face of acts of intimidation against him, the Caretaker of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Tevin Andrews is determined to take the fight to the incumbent, Deputy Prime Minister, Elvin Nimrod in the upcoming general election.

Congress has been expressing concern over the recent acts of aggression against Andrew whose home was buglarised, in what has been described as a “sinister move” with the elections just around the corner.

Andrew along with the top brass of the NDC including party leader, Nazim Burke appeared at a press conference Monday to address the recent incident.

NDC Political Leader Nazim Burke shows the media a piece of Tevin’s clothing that was damaged as a result of the break in

The Caretaker told reporters that he intends to take the fight for Congress on the sister isle which has been held by Nimrod since 1999.

“In spite of what we are moving on; we will continue to fight the good fight. We are making progress on the ground, the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique are ready for a change, they are calling for a change and it would be coming very soon”, he said.

The latest incident against the NDC Caretaker took place last week Thursday, approximately one month after the attack on the NDC Carriacou party office over the 2016 Christmas holiday.

The young politician, expressed shock at the victimisation being leveled directly at him.

“My clothes were bleached, which includes my jacket (and) dress clothes and so on,” said Andrews, who condemned the break-ins but refrained from accusing any specific person or group for the theft.

He said that as far as he is aware, there is no problem existing between him and any other citizen of the country.

“To say that I have problems with anybody in Carriacou and Petite Martinique, I don’t think so. My neighbours and I have a very good relationship – they were very shocked when they learnt of the incident,” he remarked.

However, Andrews stated that the acts of aggression started when he first became NDC caretaker for the constituency.

He recalled that the first incident was when he was working late at his office one night, and he heard stones being thrown on the roof of the building.

The second incident, he said was when the party was having a meeting at the party house in Carriacou and some people were pelting stones or other objects onto the building.

NDC Caretaker for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Tevin Andrews

“… Our office was broken into about a month ago and now my home…whoever committed this act must be punished – they must feel the full weight of the law. I believe that the (police) officers are doing all that they can to resolve this matter…but in spite of what we will continue to fight on,” Andrews said.

The NDC Caretaker said he was not in a position to disclose the extent of damages suffered from the break-in at his home.

He disclosed that he has since invested in burglary prevention bars to prevent such events from happening again.

Congress leader Burke described the break-in at Andrews home as a “sinister move” by the perpetrator with the next general elections looming in the near future.

“This is clearly targeted action that is aimed at Tevin and it is directed at him (and) is clearly intended to hurt him in one way or another to disable him and to make sure that the tremendous work that he has been doing as a political advocate is somehow frustrated,” he told reporters.

Burke referred to an incident back “in 2008, during the build up to the general election when the NDC was having a meeting on Lucas Street at its party office and it was discovered that a member of the Special Branch of the police force was eavesdropping.

“This is a very delicate time in the country’s history,” Sen. Burke said, noting that “we are heading towards a general election (and) there are times when in the course of general elections (that) people get emotionally worked up…”.

He warned that in these circumstances it “is more of a likelihood that unpleasant things can happen during an election campaign than in normal times of the year.”

The Special Branch officer was arrested by a number of NDC activist sparking a sharp exchange of words between Congress and officials of the then ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Without pointing fingers in any particular direction, the NDC Political Leader used the opportunity to encourage “all politicians (and) political parties to do what they can to encourage their members and supporters not to get so worked up that it leads to unpleasant events and incident as we head towards the general elections.”

Pointing to the strong advocacy that Andrews has been doing to push the NDC agenda on the sister isles, Sen. Burke stressed that “this is not the time for building tensions” and that “it would be very unfortunate if we see a systematic approach to targeting him.”

“Let’s keep it clean, decent and focus on the issues that affect the daily lives of our people. Let’s put forward our alternatives, perspectives and prescriptions and let the people decide who should be running our country,”he said.

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