Anyone who has been following international news over the past three to four years would know that members of the Jihadist militant organization, Boko Haram, are not the type of people you would readily want to invite over for dinner.
Indeed, they are not the type of people you would want to cozy up with unneccessarily. And surely you would want to think twice about introducing them to your daughters, given all that is already known in terms of who was responsible for the April 2014 mass abductions of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria.
Indeed, those kidnappings sparked global outrage and condemnation, including from then US first lady Michelle Obama, who willingly lent her voice to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign that would have helped to influence the safe return of those adolescents to their families after Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau had announced his intention of selling them into slavery.
Since then, in February 19 this year another 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Technical Girls College in Dapchi, Yobe and while Boko Haram reportedly released all but one of the girls by March 21, 2018, it should be clear to all and sundry that the threat posed by this unpredictable and unrelenting ruthless group is no laughing matter.
This is why it came as a major surprise to us last night to hear Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler throwing around the words Boko Horam in the same breath in which he openly challenged the Mia Mottley-led Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to explain its relationship with Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters.
Speaking during the Democratic Labour Party’s 2018 general election campaign launch at Waterford, St Michael last night, Mr Sinckler publicly claimed that Mr Peters met recently with members of the BLP at the Barbados Hilton Resort, as he called on Ms Mottley to explain the purpose of the meeting.
“Were you, Mia Mottley, at the meeting? And if you were, who was with you?” he asked.
Making reference to the huge amount of money which the BLP had been spending in the election campaign thus far, Mr Sinckler further questioned whether Mr Peters, whose net worth two years ago was said to be about BDS$5.4 billion, and who was ranked the 17th richest man in Africa, was funnelling money into the Barbados elections by way of the Opposition’s campaign, in much the same way that the Russians had sought to influence America’s 2016 presidential election.
“What do they [BLP] have to pay back. . .which part of the country do they have to surrender?” Sinckler queried.
At this stage we would prefer to think that pressure is telling on our embattled Minister of Finance and that he no longer knows the difference between fact and fiction before we can accept that Ms Mottley, and indeed the Opposition BLP, would ever seek to gamble with our children’s fate in this way.
If indeed Mr Sinckler is joking, however, he ought to be made to pay the ultimate political price for sending shivers through our spine unnecessarily.
But if he is right, the BLP, and indeed Ms Mottley, would have proven themselves unworthy to even occupy the corridors of power for a day for wagering away our democracy.
But before we jump to any conclusions, we would like to urgently call on Ms Mottley to set the national record straight on the BLP’s relationship, if any at all, with Mr Peters and indeed Boko Horam.
And while she is at it, Ms Mottley may also want to tell us who is funding her political campaign and how does she intend to finance promises to immediately purchase 50 garbage trucks, repeal the dreaded National Social Responsibility Levy, give public servants a pay increase, hike old age pensions and restore free tertiary education if given the reins of Government after the May 24 general election.
For if Mr Sinckler’s mathematics is correct, these unrealistic policies could end up costing our already broke Government in excess of $400 million — money which we simply do not have.
In the absence of Boko Haram or a billionaire godfather, we would have to agree with outspoken Government minister Dr David Estwick that Ms Mottley would have to be waving some kind of magic wand, given the current broke state we are living in.