Jonas accuses Walker of failing Barbudans

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Barbuda Affairs Minister Dean Jonas and the sister is- land’s Member of Parliament (MP), Trevor Walker, have engaged in a war of words over the development of the sister island.

Walker has gone on record to criticize the government over what he termed willful decisions made to frustrate Barbudans. He has also claimed that the Barbuda Council was under siege by the government.

However, Jonas, speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Big Issues on Sunday, said that during Walker’s 10-year term in office [2004 and 2014], he had done nothing to help development on the sister isle.

“I cannot personally identify any development done in Barbuda during [the 10 years] that Walker can say he accomplished this. This is my problem, with how the Barbuda Council led by Walker and Wade Burton operate. During his 10 years [in office], there may have been some obstructionists, but Walker had control of the Council and was a minister of government,” Jonas said.

 Jonas alleged that the majority of development on the sister isle was accomplished under the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party government. “The fisheries complex and most of the development was done by the Labour Party. Walker has done nothing in terms of agriculture, education, health or tourism to develop Barbuda. But now we see an obstructionist Barbuda Council led by Trevor Walker, and any development

[the government]

wants to do, we get blocked,” Jonas said.

Walker has responded to Jonas’ claims, saying the minister was misinformed. “I think he is misinformed and tried to play politics to dance around the issues. But clearly he is not knowledgeable, as Minister Jonas has never engaged the Barbuda Council in a meaningful manner,” Walker said.

He added that the manner in which the government wants to develop Barbuda is not the development model that the Barbudan people want for the island. “Until the government understands that their vision [for development] is not the vision of the Barbudan people…I have no issues with the need to make changes in Barbuda to [make the island] more viable,” Walker added.

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