An outspoken Barbados Labour Party (BLP) reject last night blasted the main Opposition party, which he had previously represented in four elections, suggesting that its internal membership lists could not be trusted.
In fact, political turncoat David Gill, now a candidate for the newly configured United Progressive Party (UPP), claimed there was at least one list with “an addendum of all dead people”.
Gill, 61, who served as Member of Parliament for St Michael South Central from 1999 to 2003 in an Owen Arthur-led BLP administration, but lost the seat in his three subsequent outings, announced his departure from the Opposition party last October shortly after losing his bid to carry its banner for a fifth straight election.
Following that October 3, 2016 contest, which was won by newcomer Marsha Caddle, an upset Gill had complained that he did not enjoy the support of the party mechanism.
And it appeared that time had not yet acted as a healer for the jilted politician who was scathing in his criticism of his former party, while alleging crooked acts, vindictiveness and political misdeeds.
A fired up Gill spoke of people going “under a tree at midnight [to] get people to sign a form and move with it” in the lead up to a recent BLP nomination. He also said he met a non-constituency members who claimed to have received notification to vote even though they had never filled out forms.
Gill also reported that at least one person was duped into filling out a membership form under the impression that he was entering a competition for a prize and that during the nomination process, people were posted outside a housing area on mornings, asking residents “you want to become a member?”
Gill also said he saw a party official with an envelope containing what the official claimed to be a supplementary membership list, “[but] when I look at the addendum, it was an addendum of all dead people.
“I say . . . you could fool them little young boys that come in here and want a seat, but you can’t fool me. These are dead people, an addendum of dead people,” Gill said.
Appearing on a UPP platform for the first time last night at Quakers Road, Carrington Village, Gill further accused the Mia Mottley-led main Opposition party of engaging in “political ethnic cleansing” against members who dared to associate with its former leader and ex-Prime Minister Owen Arthur after his resignation back in July, 2014.
“All hell broke loose because the administration [of the BLP] felt then that anybody who spoke with Arthur, who might have gone to his house, who might have gone to his lectures, should be removed. They underwent what they call political ethnic cleansing,” Gill charged.
He said the rooting out of perceived Arthur supporters was carried out in such a way to make dictators such as Cambodia’s Pol Pot “look like Sunday schoolboys”.
In a fiery address, Gill also charged that the BLP hierarchy, in particular party leader Mia Mottley, had “wiped the floor’ with Dr Maria Agard, the incumbent Christ Church West Member of Parliament.
“I was at Foundation [School] that evening when I saw how they put Maria Agard, then a very ill lady and wiped the floor with her. I said, ‘oh my God, how could one female be so cruel to another female?’
“I remember the leader saying if you don’t get in line, I have the authority to deal with you.”
“Every man in law is entitled to a fair hearing, and Maria did not have a fair hearing and that night I left Christ Church at 11:05 [pm] I told them politics will not be the same in this Barbados Labour Party again,” said Gill, adding that the treatment of Agard, who was expelled from the party in 2015, was “one thing that has hurt me through my political career”.