It was a “Sea of Yellow” at the La Sagesse Playing Field in St. David on Sunday as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) officially presented Adrian “Persuader” Thomas as its Candidate for the March 13 general elections.
Thomas is making his second bid for the St. David seat as he was defeated in the 2013 poll by the current Member of Parliament, Economic Development Minister, Oliver Joseph.
In his address to the large gathering, the Congress candidate did not waste time in making a plea to the electorate in St. David to give him the nod to look after their affairs in the next sitting of Parliament.
“I want to be an MP, I want to be a Parliamentary Representative here brothers and sisters. I want to be a Member of Parliament. It’s not like some other people who are frightened – they are frightened of the job of an MP. They don’t mind being a minister but I say to you, I come to you humble and I am asking you to elect me, March 13th to be the next MP of St. David,” Thomas said.
Long-standing NNP party member, Joslyn Whiteman, a former MP for St. David has said that Joseph told him that he did not like the job of MP for St. David and preferred serving in the Cabinet only as a government minister.
Thomas told the large gathering of Congress supporters that he is ready to answer the call of the people for “the rescue mission” as he is “prepared to serve” in whatever way he is called upon to do.
He said: “I don’t just want to be a minister to jump aeroplane. I don’t only want to be a minister to walk through the villages with your shoulder high in jacket and tie. I want to serve you, I want to bring benefits to you.
“I want to help in this parade of improving the health sector in this country. I want to be part of that. I want to help in creating jobs for the young people of this country and in doing so my brothers and sisters the first step is to be a Member of Parliament.
“…I am not afraid to work. I am not afraid to serve the people and I stand here tonight asking you the people of St. David that when March 13th is called, you go to the polls and without any doubt you say to anybody you come across I am persuaded and Persuader will be the next representative.
The NDC flag-bearer for St. David got support on the platform from a former NNP long-standing member, Samuel “Bosco” George who has defected to Congress.
George has been a member of NNP for the past 33 years and was instrumental in Joseph becoming a Member of Parliament for St. David in the 2013 poll.
As he stood on the Congress platform to throw his support behind Thomas, the former soldier in the disbanded People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) spoke about his regrets for staying so long in the “House” of the NNP.
“A day is coming, a day of reckoning for the New National Party, March 13th, 2018. It will mark the completion of our freedom – a freedom that we had a taste of (on) March 13th, 1979. We had a taste of that freedom March 13th, 1990 and the 8th of July 2008 but March 13th, 2018, we will not only taste it, we are going to eat it, we will be satisfied because without a doubt, the NNP is on the way out”, he said.
He went on: “…I have been a part of the NNP for 33 years…and tonight I am here to endorse Brother Persuader Adrian Thomas – a St. David’s man, a gentleman, a man with a good track record, he is the best we have at this time to represent us in the Parliament of our country but we have so much against our representatives that we have the right to say no, time to go.
“I recommended Oliver Joseph to run in St. David…but I regret the day I did that. We have to save our country but in order to do that we must take (back) our country and the opportunity we have to do that is March 13th, 2018 – we must take Grenada from NNP,” he said.
Political Leader of NDC, former Finance Minister Nazim Burke gave the people of St. David the assurance that Thomas was a key member of the Congress team and is earmarked to help revive the key agricultural sector in Grenada as that is what sets him apart from Minister Joseph.
Burke told the crowd: “He (Thomas) understands sisters and brothers that this country cannot tax its way to prosperity, cannot beg its way to prosperity but we must produce our way to prosperity and Brother Persuader Thomas has shown his commitment and love for agriculture in the spirit and love and footprints of (late Congress MP for St. David) Brother Denis Lett – he has embraced agriculture and will do everything for agriculture in this country.
“…He fights for the farmers because he believes in the farmers. He fights for the restoration of the Farm Labour Programme, he fights to ensure that we bring more of our lands under cultivation. I am asking the people of St. David to give Brother Persuader your support. I am asking you to compare him with your present MP and you will see there is really no comparison at all.
“Brother Persuader believes in people and believes in service. Brother Persuader is not in this for self-aggrandisement, he is not in this because he is trying to be popular…he is in this because he wants to serve the people of St. David. I want to assure you tonight that you would not find a better representative a better Member of Parliament than our brother, Persuader Thomas,” Burke stated.
NNP insiders have identified St. David as one of the constituencies that the party is facing a stiff challenge from Congress as it seeks to hold onto all 15 seats in the general election.