On Saturday evening, the impressionable and assertive leader of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), Gaston Browne, gave a sterling endorsement of Arthur Nibbs, the ABLP’s candidate for Barbuda. Browne spoke of Nibbs’ character which breathes of him being “capable, dedicated, deserving, and honest,” and the fact that he has the “experience and skills” necessary for uplifting Barbuda and the people that have been so marginalised by the UPP’s neglect and the representative’s perverse stances against Nibbs.
Gaston Browne assured those in attendance that Arthur Nibbs, brings the best of qualities to the table, and by dint of his hard work and love for his people, Nibbs would become a member of his Cabinet when elected by the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Browne stressed that this decision is based on the merit of a man “fighting for the [Barbuda] people for almost 40 years.” Gaston Browne was further moved to tell the crowd on hand that under his leadership, Barbuda is “to play an important role in the governance” of Antigua and Barbuda, and indicated that the “punishment” and “discrimination” and “victimisation must end.”
Noting that Barbuda has “immense potential” and will be treated as such under an ABLP government which he leads and, beginning with Arthur Nibbs, the salary issue would be resolved because it is the “responsibility of central government.” Browne additionally told Barbudans, that the ABLP will “accelerate your payments” of salaries; “we will retire the amounts outstanding and also pay you interest on the amounts outstanding” to a great and welcoming ovation.
In terms of the tourism sector that was allowed to become relatively idle, Browne promised that he “will help” Barbuda “to restore the tourism sector” so that employment could be generated because “Barbuda must work”. He spoke of promoting entrepreneurship and helping the people rearrange their affairs that they become viable for commercial loans so they “can do business.” In that regard, he further stated the his government come June 13th and beyond will “help establish a cruise ship sector and a pier … and a marina” because Barbuda needs a “vibrant tourism sector.”
Browne urged the people to remain focussed because Nibbs is deserving and he has creative ideas for the people in affordable housing and other sectors making mention of ‘Operation jump start.” Browne assuring announced that the ABLP will after having won the election, “put systems in place to wipe off all the arrears” which have been hard on the people. In addition, to which the crowd on hand gleefully acclaimed was a call on the Prime Minister and the UPP to pay EC $500, 000 t the Barbuda Council by Thursday, or the ABLP will step in to assist through Arthur Nibbs and ensure that they receive the monies from the coffers of the ABLP.