A terrible injustice!
That’s how former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) General Secretary George Griffith today described the treatment meted out to the party’s former Christ Church West Member of Parliament, Dr Maria Agard.
While indicating he would have more to say on the matter at a later stage, Griffith said the reasons for Dr Agard’s expulsion were beginning to make themselves obvious.
“I think people are beginning to see exactly what the issue [her expulsion] was all about.
“As I said before this is no accident. It is playing out the way the powers that be set out to have it played out,” he told Barbados TODAY when contacted for comment on the latest developments in Christ Church West where former MP Dr William Duguid is preparing to make his re-entry into elective politics and is tipped to secure the blessing of the BLP’s hierarchy to carry the party’s banner in the southern riding.
Today a team from Barbados TODAY visited several parts of the constituency, including Plantain Walk, Club Morgan, Bonnett’s New Road, Rendezvous Ridge and Forde’s Road to get the reaction of constituents to reports that Dr Duguid was on island having gained the approval of his wife and children to run again.
Many of them who supported him in the past said they would have no problem welcoming Dr Duguid back. Among his supporters was Nigel Belgrave of Plantain Walk, Clapham, who described the former MP as “down to earth”.
“Dr Duguid would be welcomed if he returns to elective politics. He is a down to earth man,” Belgrave said.
An outspoken Yolanda Jemmott of Club Morgan also threw her support behind Dr Duguid saying: “I want him back as my representative. He helped a lot of people in the constituency. He would be welcomed at anytime. Duguid looks out for his people. There are many homes in this district that would have benefited from his representation.”
It was obvious that Delores Codrington of Bonnetts was fond of the former representative, as she produced a certificate of appreciation which Dr Duguid presented to her when he withdrew from elective politics.
Proudly displaying the certificate, the elderly constituent called for his return.
“He is a very nice person. He was able to secure this spot for me after my landlord had asked for the land I was occupying. I felt really badly when he migrated to Canada. I do not have any transportation and he never thought it was beneath him to collect a bottle of gas for me from the filling station.”
Similar sentiments were shared by Carlyle Alleyne, 88, who once ran the popular Elgee’s Bar at Forde’s Road. She said he was a good representative and a “favourite” among constituents.
“He was always a favourite in this area and I am happy that he is back home. I knew him for a long time. Most of the constituents would be glad to see him. He will get their support,” Alleyne stated.
Sparing a thought for Dr Agard who has been hospitalized with an undisclosed medical issue, Gregston “KP” Roberts of 2nd Avenue, Forde’s Road did not rule out voting for the current MP again.
However, he said if Dr Agard were unavailable, he had no difficulty supporting Dr Duguid.
“If Dr Agard is not running in the constituency, it would have to be Dr Duguid as the candidate,” he said.
Meanwhile, when the team from Barbados TODAY caught up with Dr Duguid at Elgee’s Bar, he seemed relaxed interacting with patrons.
He said he wanted to give back to Barbados because it had been very good to him and his family.
“I have a strong sense of responsibility to the people of Barbados. I benefited significantly. I was a Barbados Exhibition winner in 1986 and in addition to that which helped me in my professional career, the people of Barbados have supported me as an oral surgeon tremendously for over 24 years now. They also supported me to become a member of parliament. So everything that I have I owe to the people of Barbados. Therefore I feel a sense of responsibility, a duty and a tremendous loyalty to the people of Barbados,” the prospective BLP candidate told Barbados TODAY.
“I was a little surprised when I saw in another section of the Press that my loyalty could be called into question. If I was disloyal I would not even be considering offering myself again. In fact, it is my loyalty and my commitment and my duty that are driving me to be a candidate again.”
There are reports that the meeting of the Executive Members of the branch which was scheduled for this afternoon at the Arthur Smith Primary School in St Matthias
to endorse Dr Duguid as its candidate was postponed.