Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has warned Barbadians

against being distracted from the job at hand by puerile

political infighting.

And she sees the present time as one which “calls

for all hands on deck and the best minds working together

for Barbados”.

Mottley issued this warning today in response to a news

story carried in another section of the Press where former

Prime Minister Owen Arthur said he had lost all confidence

in Mottley’s leadership and questioned the selection process

which reinstalled Mottley as the Leader of the Opposition and

the political leader of the Barbados Labour Party.

The St Michael North-East MP said: “As we speak today,

Barbados faces the most serious economic challenges since

Independence, threatening our way of life and our very

stability as a nation. It is a time that calls for all hands on deck

and the best minds working together for Barbados.”

Mottley recalled that it was against this background that

towards the end of 2013 she called upon the Government to

establish an Eminent Persons Group to allow Barbadians

to start the New Year with the most qualified in Barbados

assisting in saving the country.

Pointing out that the concept of non-partisan multisectoral

group is one that has been widely used across the

world, Mottley said: “It is an approach proposed previously

by the BLP. In our ranks I looked around and I could think

of no better person or more qualified person than our

former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who served this

country with distinction for 14 years, and Erskine Griffith, a

former Director of Finance who was at the forefront of the

resolution of all of our major economic challenges for the

past 40 years.”

Mottley stressed that it was in these circumstances that

she regretted Arthur’s unwillingness to be considered for

a nomination to this Eminent Persons Group and

apologized for any offence he may have taken.

She further stated that it was regrettable that a letter

written by Arthur, addressed to Kerrie Symmonds and

read and discussed at the Parliamentary Group meeting on

December 30, could now find its way to the front page

of one of our dailies.

Repeating her call for commitment to national

development, Mottley said: “I hope that we can now put this

matter behind us and proceed with the people’s business. As

Leader of the Opposition, I give Barbadians the assurance

that the team I lead will not be distracted but will remain

focused on the dire conditions of our country and the plight

of thousands of Barbadian families who within days may have

to face their future without the security of a job.”

She told Barbadians that the overwhelming support and

attendance at the first People’s Assembly yesterday reaffirmed

her resolve and confirmed that the BLP was on track.

Mottley further stated that the views expressed, the

experience shared and the solid suggestions offered

underscored the importance of the assemblies.

She extended an invitation to Barbadians to the second

assembly which will be held tomorrow night at Foundation

School at 7 p.m.

Retired senior civil servant Peter Laurie and Bishop

Wilfred Wood are scheduled to speak at this assembly and

continue the national conversation about how best Barbadians

can work together to resolve the challenges by putting

Barbados first. (NC)

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