Deputy Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joseph Andall has come to the defence of his Political Leader, Nazim Burke who is facing a barrage of criticisms in the election campaign from his former 1979-83 revolutionary comrades, Peter David and Chester Humphrey, as well as Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Andall told a large gathering of NDC supporters at a mass rally in Fond playing field in St. Patrick that Burke should be given a high ranking in party leadership especially after the massive defeat of Congress in 2013.
He credited Burke with helping in the resurgence of the party for the March 13 election in which it is seeking to dethrone Prime Minister Mitchell and his New National Party (NNP).
“Anybody who could lift the NDC from the depths of despair in 2013 to the cusp of victory in 2018, is a giant of a leader and so I urge you do not be swayed by the old talk, the rumours and the mamaguism. For too long sisters and brothers we have allowed ourselves to be misguided and misled…”, he said.
NDC lost all 15 seats to NNP in the last election after a protracted leadership squabble resulting in several government ministers and party members as Peter David, Chester Humphrey, Karl Hood, Glynis Roberts and Michael Church being expelled.
David and Humphrey have now joined forces with Prime Minister Mitchell and NNP to try and keep out Congress from winning the poll on March 13.
Andall told party supporters to avoid being fooled by those who are attacking NDC and Burke in particular.
“Do not be fooled by tomfoolery, do not be fooled by razor blades. People who spent their whole lives being yellow, they cannot just stay so and turn green, they are looking after their interest sisters and brothers and therefore, you must stick with a tried and trusted champion of the people,” he said.
According to Andall, Burke who served as Minister of Finance in the 2008-13 Congress government is a true leader.
“Every time I see Victor Nazim Burke, I remember a Bob Marley song…all guns are aimed at Nazim Burke.
Nazim Burke is an upright law-abiding citizen, Nazim Burke has never had to face criminal or civil prosecution in the United States or elsewhere, Nazim Burke never stole $20,000 from his employers, Nazim never pull gun on his father, Nazim Burke never accused people of being criminal and then when it suits them politically they hug-up and then they tell you that is politics and old talk.
This is a reference to the criminal charge that was filed in the United States against Humphrey on gun-running charges before he jumped bail and flee to his homeland during the 1979-83 Grenada.
Prime Minister Mitchell is known to have written to the U.S government in his 2003-08 term in office, seeking immunity in the face of a lawsuit filed against him in connection with a financial matter involving imprisoned fraudster, Eric Resteiner.
Andall also lashed out at the sour relationship in the past between PM Mitchell and David who served as Minister of Tourism and Foreign Affairs under the Congress government.
He called for these persons “to respect us and you must make them explain and apologise when the red man and the black man (were) bad talking one another, if they were speaking the truth…”.
“When they come to you now ask them if they were lying on one another then…”, he said.
“They should be rejected”, he remarked.
Andall also made a plea to the electorate to be on guard and protect themselves against acts of bribery to get their votes on election day.
“Let it not be said that we traded away the future of our country for a sheet of ply board. Let it not be said that we sacrificed the future of our country for a fortnight of work. Let us embrace decency, let us embrace the chance for a proper government that will bring true development to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”, he said.
Just over a month ago, a number of persons were seen running out of the constituency office of NNP’s St John Candidate, Alvin DaBreo with windows provided by a local company at the Frequente Industrial Park.
There have been widespread reports of similar occurrences at NNP party offices islandwide including the distribution of household items like fridges and especially water tanks on the sister isle of Carriacou.