Some persons who appeared before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) may have just managed to escape further scrutiny past the COI’s blistering report on governance and the flurry of investigations ordered in its wake.
That was the contention of former Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering when he spoke in the Huntums Ghut community last evening, January 25.
As he urged persons to dismiss the talk of “who was there” or “who doing what” in public office, Dr Pickering made a pitch for those that have thus far emerged relatively unscathed by the COI
“It is clear that some of us have [stood] tall. It is clear that some of us, despite all the Commission of Inquiry
and all of what they have dusted over, some of us have stood up and our reputation has [stood] clear,” the former legislator said in what is believed to be his seventh public meeting since announcing his candidacy for re-election.
He pointed out that this was important for residents to understand ahead of expected general elections which are constitutionally due by mid-May.
Dr Pickering’s assertion comes in the wake of criminal proceedings against several persons who appeared before the COI
— including his former ministerial colleague, former Education Minister Myron Walwyn and Walwyn’s then-Permanent Secretary.
In addition, there have been a several other criminal investigations ordered by Governor John Rankin
after he noted that there needed to be “an urgent and decisive move forward”.
These investigations include probes into the scandalous BVI Airways project, the Sea Cows Bay Harbour Development project and the Virgin Islands
Neighbourhood Partnership project, among others.
Don’t allow UK to to take over
In the meantime, Dr Pickering said he has been going throughout the BVI to warn residents not to allow the UK to suspend the territory’s constitution, arguing that residents will live to regret it.
“There has to be an election, let me make that clear. The only way that there won’t be an election is if the United Kingdom government — through an act of parliament that is sitting over our head — suspends our constitution,” the Territorial At-Large candidate stated.
The former lawmaker said he will continue to fight for the territory because it has been good to him and has allowed him to have a good life.
“I have the courage of my convictions. I’m prepared to stand up for what I believe in and I believe in this country and I believe in doing my part to help our country,” Dr Pickering said.