By Latrishka Thomas
A young aspiring publisher from Barbuda has conducted research about his island which he says reveals that Barbudans do not own the land.
According to 27-year-old Ricardo Nedd, Part 2, Section 4 and 5 of the Barbuda Ordinance Act states that “the people of Barbuda are hereby declared to be tenants.”
The Act further reveals that all land on the island is vested in the Crown
And according to the master’s student, “Barbudans are always saying that if it is that Antigua government tries anything, they will go to England because to them the Crown is England.”
To the contrary, he explained that “we are an independent nation as a result of 1981, and therefore the Crown is no longer England, but the rights that England would have had would have been transferred to the government of Antigua and Barbuda. “
Nedd explained that he came upon this information when a passion for history was ignited by him feeling “lost as a Barbudan.”
He said that he wanted to connect with the past because “when you understand the past you know what would have been done, you can then look at all of the things that would have went wrong, what went right, and you can use that to chart a path as to where you want to go.”
The youngster who considers himself a patriot of Antigua and Barbuda therefore took to the archives for information dating back to the time when Barbuda was uninhabited.
Nedd clarified that he “is not trying to take away any land from the people of Barbuda, nor is he trying to facilitate the prime minister with a land grab. Rather, I am doing historical research to try to utilise the information to bridge a divide between Antigua and Barbuda.”
He wishes to “put in perspective the accurate historical information regarding Barbuda.”
“I see Barbuda as an island that has so much potential, but we just keep repeating mistakes…there have been conflict periods in Antigua and Barbuda where sometimes you could understand the animosity, but there are also times where Antigua has always been there for Barbudans,” the University of Salford student remarked.
Furthermore, Nedd said that he will be educating the public further
“I want to make the information regarding Barbuda’s history and the connection between Antigua and Barbuda so common that anybody come and tell you stupidness you’re supposed to can look pan dem and tell them hey, that a crap.
“I actually want to write a book, so that is something I’m in the process of doing. The book that I want to write, initially I want it to be something that can appeal to all audiences whether you are young, middle aged or you are older,” he added.
He also said that he intends to publish an article in a peer reviewed journal to enable “people to see that it actually has the supporting evidence.”
The ownership of land in Barbuda came under heightened threat after Hurricane Irma devasted the island.
Following the island’s mass evacuation, the central government announced its intention to repeal the Barbuda Land Act in favour of individualised freehold tenure for $1.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne argued that Barbudan’s need individual freehold title to secure bank loans to rebuild their houses.
However, Barbudans have greeted that proposition with resistance.