At 49 most of us would regard such a lifespan as the age of maturity, but historically as an independent nation it may be considered as “the coming of age”.
On February 7th 2023 the State of Grenada would be forty nine years as a sovereign nation, which occasion could be regarded as a prelude to the grand celebration of our 50th GOLDEN anniversary on February 7th, 2024.
The post-colonial experience has been fraught with many difficult challenges, coupled with a period of visionless leadership – so much so that George Brizan in his seminal discourse – “GRENADA ISLAND OF CONFLICT”- in its 2nd edition, outlined the causes and consequences of an island – continuously engulfed in conflict.
This unsavoury condition exploded on the 19th October 1983, when the People’s Revolutionary Government came to its bloody demise, with the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and other ministers of the New Jewel movement.
Since the demise of the revolution and the passing of Eric Gairy, Grenada has been governed by two political parties: the New National Party (NNP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The record will show that the NNP under the leadership of Dr. Keith Mitchell has been in power for most of the post-revolutionary period – that is from 1985 onwards, after the Interim Government of 1984, and has held the rein of power up to June 22, 2022, with a remarkable NDC victory on June 23, 2022 despite the pollster’s scientific projection to the contrary.
The legacy of the NNP government after its long period of governance has regrettably become part of our recent history.
Regular confrontation with the labour movement, with teachers and public servants having to pound the pavement for increments and other entitlements legally due to them, a deplorable health service, refusal to pay gratuity and pension to workers-and to retire them in poverty, after working for 30-35 years with government, the almost physical collapse of the island’s infrastructure – both social and environmental, the emasculation of the Public Service Commission, the constant allegations of corruption and shady deals, the irregular condition of sale or giveaway of our prized possessions – OUR LAND, the ravaging of our eco-systems with concrete and steel (CDB hotels) – and the list goes on.
The NDC’s victory at the last general election saw an end to the NNP stranglehold and the beginning of a new ideology – a philosophy of enlightened governance, and the dawn of a progressive Grenada.
“Great minds are like meteors, they glitter and are consumed to enlighten the world”.
Under the leadership of the NDC administration with the Hon. Dickon Mitchell as Prime Minister, his TRANSFORMATIONAL AGENDA has become the mantra, the rallying call to WE THE PEOPLE to seize the moment, in this period of transition as we come of age, while “we aspire build and advance as one people”.
Happy 49th Anniversary of Independence GRENADA.