Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley warned Government not to use the death of 17-year-old Kyrique Boyce to score cheap political points.
Atherley, leader of the newly-formed People’s Party for Democracy and Development, was speaking in the House of Assembly during the debate on The Crown Lands (Vesting and Disposal) Act. During the session, eight Government Ministers, one after the other, accused the previous Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government of “neglecting” and “raping” the National Housing Corporation. Some outright blamed the DLP for the accident which took the teenager’s life. Boyce fell in a 100ft well at Martin Road, The Pine, St Michael last week and subsequently died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
However Atherley cautioned: “Never take advantage of people’s darkest hour to score cheap political points. Government is not just the party in office. Government is an institution. Government is a continuum and those who lead the administration of the country’s affairs need always to bear in mind, and prominently so, that we are called upon and expected therefore to carry out a duty -circumstances notwithstanding.”
The Opposition Leader said now was not the time to play the political blame game as a family mourns the lost of a loved one.
“One could say ten years of neglect contributed to this. One, on the other side, would stand and say 13 months in office is enough time to fix a well. That is not what this debate should be about. What this debate should be about is an understanding that though we give urgent attention to those macro things which are part of our mission-critical, we also need to give attention to those things not so macro.….”
The St Michael West MP pointed out that traditional party politics in Barbados was “vicious” but he would refrain from engaging in such behaviour.
“The viciousness of traditional Opposition politics would suggest an opportunity to go after Government today even on that matter. The viciousness of politics generally would suggest to the Government that it is an opportune time to go after the last administration and prosecute them for a dereliction of duty with reference to a lack of maintenance.”
He continued: “My disposition is not that. I do not believe that people’s grief presents to us an opportunity to score political points and to engage in cheap political attacks. I have vowed every since I crossed this floor never to engage in the business of opposing for opposing sake or to score cheap political points. When you are right you are right. When you do good you will be credited. If your actions are questionable they will be held up to scrutiny…”