The National Coordinating Committee (NCC) is describing its two-day visit to Barbuda, which included a town-hall meeting on Thursday evening, as ‘fruitful, encouraging and well-received’.
The NCC traveled to the sister island to engage Barbudans in the national campaign on whether or not Antigua and Barbuda should retain the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) or accede to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
“We are very pleased and happy to convey to the people of Barbuda just how grateful we are with the large turnout to the town hall meeting on Thursday; it was without doubt one of the largest gatherings of we have had since the launch of the public education and sensitization campaign,” NCC Chairman and team leader, Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry remarked.
Of particular interest, he noted, were the contributions and the interest displayed by Barbudans in the ongoing national conversation. “The engagement was encouraging, inspiring and delightful and the NCC feels privileged to have received their contributions and questions on the matter of the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction,” he noted.
According to Dr. Henry the NCC is looking forward towards another engagement with the people of Barbuda very soon to crystalize this discussion and to listen to the voices of Barbuda which the Committee respects tremendously. Equally, he added, the NCC is confident that after listening to both sides of the discussion, the people of Barbuda will vote their consciences and without undue political influence.
Public Relations Officer for the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission, Anne Harewood George, was on hand to explain the process of a referendum and its similarities and differences with a general elections.
Harewood George applauded the residents of Barbuda for embracing the process. “The level of engagement was very impressive and these activities have enabled Barbudans to dialogue with us in a very meaningful way,” said Harewood George. She continued by emphasizing the need for all stakeholders to unify in order to ensure that the electorate is adequately informed before they vote in the historic referendum.
In Barbuda, the NCC team also held a meeting with the Barbuda Council, engaged students at the Sir McChesney George Secondary School in a fun-filled and interaction session and paid a courtesy call on the parliamentary representative, Arthur Nibbs.
The NCC team also included Chairman of the CCJ Trust Fund Committee, Dr. Linton Lewis, Attorney, Amaya Athill, NCC Secretary, Barbara Williams, PRO, Everton Barnes and a team from ABS Radio/Television.