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Tillman Thomas: NNP is a Jab Jab government

Tillman Thomas – favoured in a poll to return as Political Leader of Congress

Former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has described the rule of the Keith Mitchell-led Administration as not unlike the people practicing the traditional mas’ in defiance of regulations.

In an interview recently Thomas likened the Administration’s style of governance to the law breaking “Jab Jab” which is currently defying orders not to engage in Carnival-like activities due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

He spoke of the Administration’s track record of defiance when it comes to judgements handed down by the Courts, saying that they are not setting an example for law and order in the country.

“Could you imagine, in a country that subscribes to the rule of law, those who are supposed to set an example are refusing to comply with the Court and the same government wants to turn around and say the people are breaking the law, they are playing Jab Jab.

“I mean, it’s Jab Jab, they’re playing at the higher level – it’s just a different type of Jab Jab.”

According to the ex-Prime Minister who is the front-runner to resume the Political Leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), the country is now facing its worst crisis in governance in four decades.

“Like most other Grenadians I  am concerned because right now we are experiencing the greatest deficit in governance in the last forty years,” said Thomas, who led the Congress party government in the 2008 -2013 period.

Thomas also pointed out what he said is the contrast between the governance record of his NDC and the ruling NNP Administration saying the move by the government to wrestle back control of the electricity company from WRB Enterprises – at a hefty cost – demonstrates the lack of commitment to serving the interests of the Grenadian people.

“NDC has always protected the interests of the Grenadian people. On the contrary the NNP has created a situation whereby it could be said that some of the activities the NNP engaged in, in particular, that battle with Grenlec where the legal fees alone was almost $30 million US, plus things like the shrimp farm and there are several others, that situation has created what I would call a millstone around the necks of Grenadians.

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“Sometimes you wonder who really the NNP is representing when they get involved in these activities. They are not representing the people of Grenada because they are not acting for the interest of the People of Grenada.

“It’s some other interest they seem to be acting on behalf of because we are not benefitting from what they’ve been doing.”

Thomas, whose five year term as Prime Minister ended with one of the biggest break-ups since the fall of the Grenada Revolution but who still enjoys a reputation for good governance, did not rule out a return to mainstream politics.

He said: “It isn’t my plan and leadership isn’t something you are interested in. People who are leaders in the country are people who contribute to governance in the Country”.

“If a situation arises whereby I could contribute, I would do it. If you follow my history I’ve never been preoccupied with office and power. I always took a stand for what is right and what is good for the people of Grenada.”

July marked forty years since Thomas was jailed by the left-leaning People’s Revolutionary Government of executed Prime Minister Maurice Bishop as a counter revolutionary, along with the late Leslie Pierre and the late Lloyd Noel of the Grenadian Voice newspaper for defending freedom of expression.

Thomas said the leader that the NDC will end up with after its Convention later this year will be the one whom the party membership approves.

The NDC has struggled to find a new leader following its second 15-0 loss in General elections at the hands of the NNP.

Thomas did not commit to a specific choice for leadership when pressed but the issue of leadership within the ruling party, he said, “One man leadership is a dangerous thing”.

The ex-Prime Minister is of the view that the NNP would not survive the departure of Prime Minister Mitchell as political leader.

“There is no room for generational leadership, just one man manipulating people,” he remarked.

Thomas said he believes the NNP will suffer a similar fate to that of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) which faded from mainstream politics without its founding leader, the late Sir Eric Matthew Gairy.