“We look at it as an act of disrespect and incompetence…the recipient of the award has not even received any official communication.”
That was the response of Senator Damani Tabor to the government’s announcement that it intends to name a sports complex and community centre in honour of former prime minister, Baldwin Spencer.
The facility is currently under construction at Knuckle Block in Grays Farm within the St. John’s Rural West Constituency for which Spencer had been the parliamentary representative for 29 years. During this time he served two terms as prime minister.
Tabor, the public relations officer for the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) in an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media yesterday, stressed that the UPP and Spencer are offended that no official notification of the proposed honour was given to the party’s former leader.
The government shared with the media, the information about the honour following a Cabinet decision on Wednesday.
He added: “As far as we are concerned we do not know it to exist.”
He further stated that the government “wants to come and play like they’re giving this great honour”.
According to him, the move is being made to cover up the “lies” the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) has spread that “Spencer failed to deploy the project.”
Tabor pointed out that Spencer had ensured that agreement had been reached for the implementation of the project but construction was put on hold in order to accommodate the building of the Five Islands Secondary School as the Chinese could not carry out both projects simultaneously.
“We as a party would just like to commend the great service of Baldwin Spencer,” Tabor said as he listed the contributions of the UPP administration while Spencer was prime minister of the country.
When OBSERVER media contacted Spencer for a comment on the matter, he refrained from doing so, stating that he had not been officially informed of the decision.
The decision to name the facility was, however, confirmed in the Cabinet notes sent on Wednesday night and again at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday by Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lionel “Max” Hurst.