Deputy Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joseph Andall is accusing the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) in which the ruling New National Party (NNP) government is a minority shareholder of trying to hogwash the party.
Andall took issue with GBN over the airing of a recent news article regarding statements he made at a Congress rally in St. Patrick earlier this month.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY last week Thursday, the NDC Candidate for St. Patrick West sought to correct the misinformation put out by the major news network which implied that he made an election campaign promise to increase the stipend given to Imani workers.
Noting that some Imani workers are currently receiving stipends ranging from “$700 – $1,000 a month,” the NDC Deputy Political Leader, cleared the air on the point he was making during his presentation on the Imani payment.
“The substantive point I was making is that rather than giving out the Imani stipend on a monthly basis, I chose (the figure) $800, as a sort of average (and) the plan that we (NDC) are working on, would use the monies as a sort of lumpsum.
“So, I said for example, if someone gets $800 a month as a stipend, let us multiply that by 12 (signifying the 12 months in a year), which will give you $9, 600, (and) we will round up (that figure) to (about) $10, 000.
“…If anybody of sense was following what I was saying…I added the 2 years for the duration of the programme and came up with $20, 000 and that is the way we want to go with the training programme – to use that money in a lump sum to facilitate the start-up of businesses (and) co-operatives among the young people. That is all I was saying.
“So, for GBN to claim that I was saying that we (NDC) were going to increase the Imani stipend, that was total hogwash. It is quite clear that they (GBN) are doing a hatchet job on the NDC.
According to Andall, he does not view the GBN report as a “misconception,” but rather as a deliberate hatchet job on Congress.
He contended that anyone who had sought to follow “the point that I was developing would know that the figures I called were simply to illustrate a point.”
THE NEW TODAY contacted the GBN newsroom for comment and was told that they will get back on the issue.
NDC officials have often complained about the harsh manner in which GBN staffer have been interviewing their representatives over the years as compared to the manner in which members of the ruling administration are dealth with.
About two years ago, there was a heated exchange over the airwaves between Congress leader, Nazim Burke and GBN’s Brenda Baptiste.
Baptiste has also ran into problems with another senior Congress member – former Education Minister Franka Bernadine, the party’s candidate for the St. George South-east seat in the upcoming general election.