Former agriculture minister Anthony Wood says he and his family are receiving, what he considers, threats because of his decision to withdraw his support for the current Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir, and resign from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
The former St Philip South parliamentarian shocked many of his BLP colleagues and the party faithful when in May, by way of a paid newspaper disclaimer, he apologised to constituents for endorsing his successor during the 2018 General Election.
During a discussion dubbed: Delivering on a promise: the story behind the disclaimer notice, Wood told those gathered at Clara’s Hide-a-way in Four Roads, St Philip on Sunday night that persons were employing “strong-armed, not so strong-armed and weak tactics” to keep him quiet.
This he said included threats via anonymous notes posted at the Six Roads post office to himself, his wife and other close relatives which he planned to share with the Royal Barbados Police Force. In addition to one commentator going as far as to scandalise his name on social media.
“Of course, when you do something like that you only encourage me to tell more of the truth because believe you me, I am fearless,” Wood maintained.
Stressing that he will not be silenced, Wood revealed that he resigned from the post of chairman of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Company (BADMC) because he witnessed incidents of corruption that ranged from nepotism in the hiring practices in the ministry, money intended for the ministry’s feeding programme being diverted to pay the salary of a public relations consultant, to the illegal awarding of contracts.
He said it was especially important for him to speak out to maintain his reputation because these infractions go against the message of stamping out corruption in public office.
“You could imagine we talking about serious business and we got some lackeys ‘bout here in this constituency all that they are concerned about is keeping a man entrenched so that he can get a second term like me. You imagine that? That is what representation is reduced to? That once you get involved you ought to be assured of two terms to get pension, oblivious to what else is going on in the country, what is happening in the constituency? All they are concerned about is that I am trying to stop Mr Weir from getting a second term. Well if that is what you all feel then I don’t want to disappoint you then. . . . I do not want to disappoint the lackeys in the constituency, in the branch who feel that that is my motivation, “ he said.
Wood, who was a member of the BLP for 35 years before his resignation, said that he had no sinister intent to undermine the party. Rather, he declared to those present including Opposition leader Bishop Joseph Atherley and former Democratic Labour Party Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite that his intention was for the BLP to get rid of people who by their actions are lack thereof, undermine the same party.
“I’m not undermining them by my statements because my statements are all truthful,” Wood contended while calling on Prime Minister Mia Mottley to sack Weir.