Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Hon Elvin Nimrod has blasted the Carriacou Carnival committee for what he claims was a dangerous breach of protocol but Chairman Randolph Fleary has hit back describing the minister’s comments as unfortunate and deceitful.
During his presentation at the 2015 Soca Monarch show, the minister slammed the committee for refusing to send an official invitation to the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs for the various Carnival events. This, the minister told the crowd represents a gross lack of disrespect and should be viewed as an insult to the office of the Minster of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs. He pointed out that the procedure, which must be followed in showing respect to the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique should not be determined based on the person who occupies the office.
Against this he said, it must not be on whether it is he Nimrod or whoever but rather on what are the correct principles enshrined in displaying respect for protocol.
But in responding to the comment, Fleary said that he was shocked at the utterance of the minister. He said that throughout their preparation everything was done with the knowledge of the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs. He added a letter was sent to the ministry requesting a representative be present from the ministry at every meeting.
He said that on the weekend of the festival the permanent secretary Bernadette Lendore Sylvester informed him that the Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood was going to be on the island and would want to make some remarks at the event. Fleary added that she also indicated to him that the Minister (Hon. Nimrod) was out of the island.
However Fleary pointed out, on the Sunday she informed him that the minister was present and would also want to make some remarks. The president said he was also reminded that the senator would also be present therefore provisions must be made for them.
“They arrived and I was there to greet them at the door and took them to their seats” said Fleary. “I was very surprised when I saw Senator Stiell as I thought it was going to be Senator for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs (Nalon Cox).
“It hit me as a shock when the minister told the audience that he (Nimrod) had surprised the committee by being there because he was not invited.
“I thought it was a low punch and was not been truthful,” said the Carnival Committee president.
Nimrod who is also the Member of Parliament for this twin isles constituency defeated Fleary who ran on a National Democratic Congress ticket at the February 19, 2013 General elections in a campaign, which had its bruising moments.
“That was involving politics in the culture and that does not go down well with me.
“When I’m thinking culture I am thinking culture; it’s a national event and I always leave party politics out of the fray.
“But he (Nimrod) didn’t think it was and decided to throw some punches at me because I’m the president.
“That was hypocritical,” stated Fleary.
Fleary pointed out that even during his speech the minister spoke of having just returned from the United States of America and explained that he didn’t want to miss the Shakespeare mas which is an aspect of the culture he has a passion for.